Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit


Repository files navigation


The Automated Cryptographic Validation Protocol (ACVP) is a protocol to support a new National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) testing scope at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The new testing scope, 17ACVT, is available, and defined in NIST Handbook 150-17.

All current information about ACVP protocol may be found within this Github project at View the protocol documents at

For issues regarding the actual ACVP Server implementation, as well as pre-release (demo) and release notes (prod), see the ACVP-Server repository:

Jump to


The rapid development of cryptographic technology over the last two decades and its adoption in many different technology domains has resulted in a sharp increase in the number and complexity of approved algorithms. The volume of cryptographic algorithm validations has outstripped the available human resources available to test, report, and validate results. The plethora of different algorithms has created a dire need for consistent requesting and reporting of test data and results. We also live in times of unprecedented levels of threats and exploits that require frequent product updates to fix defects and remove security vulnerabilities, which in turn requires much faster turnaround of validation updates than what the existing validation model allows. See the NIST Automated Cryptographic Validation Testing project for broader context and information.

Requirements documents for the existing Cryptographic Algorithm Validation Program (CAVP) and the 17CAV scope can be found at The requirements documents for the 17ACVT scope can be found on the same page.

General information about CAVP can be found at with the CAVP management manual found at and the FAQ at

How to use Metanorma

Using Metanorma is not required to view the documents in the GitHub repository. When changes occur, documents will automatically be built and deployed to

Metanorma is a library for writing standards. It can compile .adoc files into multiple common standards formats including the IETF's RFC format.

Use the instructions here to set up Metanorma:

To compile an individual file, to make sure your gem versions are up to date run

gem install metanorma-cli

From there run

metanorma compile -t ietf -x html file.adoc

You can switch between -x html and -x txt for different RFC output formats.

If you make changes to a file that's referenced by a top level spec, run metanorma on the referenced file prior to running it on the top level file. E.g.,

metanorma compile -t ietf -x html symmetric/sections/04-testtypes.adoc
metanorma compile -t ietf -x html draft-celi-acvp-symmetric.adoc

Or you can use the Makefile which is available.

To build all documents, html and txt

make all

To build a specific file

make specific-file.html

To remove all xml, txt, html, err produces files,

make clean


The objective of this project is to define a protocol allowing independent implementation by all vendors participating in the NIST cryptographic validation programs (CAVP and CMVP) for accelerated test data generation and requisition, reporting of test results, and validation of NIST-approved cryptographic algorithms (see FIPS140-2 Annex A, Annex C and Annex D). For FIPS140-3, the NIST-approved cryptographic algorithms are defined in the SP800-140 Document Series.

Project Goals

The development of an Automated Cryptographic Validation Protocol (ACVP) that enables the generation and validation of standardized algorithm test evidence to facilitate the modernization of CAVP and CMVP.


The demo server ( supports ACVP version 1.0. All endpoints defined in the protocol specification are available. Some additional endpoinds defined in are also available but not considered part of this protocol.

The prod server ( also supports ACVP version 1.0, with the same endpoints defined.

Supported Algorithms

Block Cipher Modes

Secure Hash


Message Authentication


Digital Signature

SP 800-56 Series Algorithms

Full KAS and KTS IFC Testing

Tests against shared secret computation (SSC), key derivation functions (KDF) or key derivation algorithms (KDA), and optionally key confirmation (KC). Test vectors issued under this set of tests (with the exception of 1.0 component based tests) are considered "full KAS" testing.

KAS SSC Testing

Standalone KAS SSC testing from SP800-56A/B. Can be used in conjunction with KDF/KDA testing and optionally key confirmation testing (as opposed to "full KAS" testing) to be considered a valid KAS implementation.

KDA Testing SP800-56Cr1/r2

Standalone KDA testing from SP800-56Cr1 or SP800-56Cr2. Can be used in conjunction with SSC testing and optionally key confirmation testing (as opposed to "full KAS" testing) to be considered a valid KAS implementation.

KAS KC Testing SP800-56

Standalone KAS Key Confirmation testing from SP800-56Ar3 and/or SP800-56Br2. Can be as a KC primitive validation as a part of a KAS validation.


Safe Primes

Conditioning Components

Stateful Hash-Based Signatures

Module-Lattice Algorithms

See the algorithm endpoint to learn which algorithms are available on a given ACVP server.

Accessing the Demo Server

To access the demo server one needs a TLS credential and a one-time password (OTP). The protocol specification and other development information are available in this repository. You may want to use the companion ACVP client to jump-start your work.

To set expectations, since this is a demo system, it will be in a state of flux and any all data on the system is considered temporary and may be reset to accommodate development of the Automated Cryptographic Validation Protocol (ACVP) service. We will try to keep the demo service relatively stable, but we plan to update it as we continue to add new algorithms and capabilities.

To access the prod server, first you must demonstrate compentency on the demo server. Then follow the instructions available at

Obtaining TLS credentials

To access the demo environment you will need to send your CSR to NIST. Please use a 2048-bit RSA key pair and sign using at least a SHA-256 hash. Please send the request to with 'CSR REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO DEMO' in the subject line. You will receive instructions for how to upload your CSR.

You are expected to protect the key pair from unauthorized use and to notify NIST in the event the keypair becomes compromised. Also, since we do not have a formal login page the following notice applies when accessing the ACVP system:

You are accessing a U.S. Government information system, which includes: 1) this computer, 2) this computer network, 3) all computers connected to this network, and 4) all devices and storage media attached to this network or to a computer on this network. You understand and consent to the following: you may access this information system for authorized use only; you have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication of data transiting or stored on this information system; at any time and for any lawful Government purpose, the Government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system; and any communications or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful Government purpose.

Configuring and using One-Time-Passwords (OTP)

TOTP has been configured on all servers. See details here.

Renewing TLS credentials

Credentials are valid for a period of two years and will then expire. To renew your credentials, please send an email to with the subject 'ACVTS DEMO CREDENTIAL RENEWAL REQUEST' in the subject line. You will receive further instructions via email regarding the renewal process.

Contribution Guidelines

If you want to contribute, please follow the simple rules below and send us pull requests.

  • See Metanorma for installation instructions
  • Documents are templated out and organized into folders, find and edit the appropriate document and build the HTML or TXT file to ensure the changes are correct
  • Create a Pull Request with the updated ADOC files. GitHub Actions will verify the files can compile.
  • Once approved by a NIST member, GitHub Actions will rebuild the nist-pages branch to be reflected on

If you would like to talk to our developers, you may want to send email to our mailing list cavp (at) You may also report bugs or request new tests.

Related Projects

Licensing Terms

This data was developed by employees of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the Federal Government, in collaboration with third-party contributors. Pursuant to title 17 United States Code Section 105, works of NIST employees are not subject to copyright protection in the United States and are considered to be in the public domain. The data is provided by NIST as a public service and is expressly provided "AS IS." NIST MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT AND DATA ACCURACY. NIST does not warrant or make any representations regarding the use of the data or the results thereof, including but not limited to the correctness, accuracy, reliability or usefulness of the data. NIST SHALL NOT BE LIABLE AND YOU HEREBY RELEASE NIST FROM LIABILITY FOR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF BUSINESS PROFITS, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, LOSS OF BUSINESS INFORMATION, AND THE LIKE), WHETHER ARISING IN TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THE DATA (OR THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THIS DATA), EVEN IF NIST HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

To the extent that NIST may hold copyright in countries other than the United States, you are hereby granted the non-exclusive irrevocable and unconditional right to print, publish, prepare derivative works and distribute the NIST data, in any medium, or authorize others to do so on your behalf, on a royalty-free basis throughout the world.

You may improve, modify, and create derivative works of the data or any portion of the data, and you may copy and distribute such modifications or works. Modified works should carry a notice stating that you changed the data and should note the date and nature of any such change. Please explicitly acknowledge the National Institute of Standards and Technology as the source of the data: Data citation recommendations are provided below. Permission to use this data is contingent upon your acceptance of the terms of this agreement and upon your providing appropriate acknowledgments of NIST's creation of the data.

Citation Format

Author/editor (Publication Year), Title, Publisher, Persistent Identifier (PID) or URL (Access date).