What does “AES” mean?

Short for Advanced Encryption Standard, AES is a symmetric 128-bit block data encryption technique developed by Belgian cryptographers Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen. The U.S government adopted the algorithm as its encryption technique in October 2000, replacing the DES encryption it used. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the U.S. Department of Commerce selected the algorithm, called Rijndael (pronounced Rhine Dahl or Rain Doll), out of a group of five algorithms under consideration.