A block cipher employing a 56-bit key to encrypt or decrypt information in 64-bit blocks. As of the year 2000, DES was supplanted by the newer AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) because with only 56-bit keys, DES can easily be cracked within a short period of time—hours or less.
Oracle Corporation. Oracle Security Server Concepts. [Online, 1997.] Oracle Corporation Website. http://wwwrohan.sdsu.edu/doc/oracle/network803/A54088_01/ conc1.htm#438378.