This article outlines the Encryption algorithms used by Symantec Encryption Desktop and Symantec Endpoint Encryption.
Both Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.4.2 and above and Symantec Endpoint Encryption 11.2.x and above use at least AES256 as the default cipher for Drive Encryption, although AES128 is available if needed. The hashing algorithm is SHA256
See the SED 10.5 Users guide for details on this.
The SEE Helpdesk page also discusses this.
Symantec Encryption Desktop uses PGP Keys and has the capability to use AES256 for encryption should the recipient support this. SED will always encrypt to the preferred algorithms specified on the key for backwards compatibility. For example, multiple encryption algorithms are available such as AES, CAST, TripleDES, IDEA or Twofish with supported hashes of SHA-2-256, SHA-2-384, SHA-2-512, RIPEMD-160 or SHA-1.
Both Symantec Encryption Desktop 10 and Symantec Endpoint Encryption 11 are NIST certified, which comply with current NIST requirements including strong ciphers for encryption. See the following articles for information on this:
Symantec Encryption Desktop 10.4.2 and above also use AES256 for file encryption.
Additional information for Symantec Encryption Desktop and how to tell which algorithm is being used:
To find out which algorithm was used on a machine that was PGP Whole Disk encrypted, the pgpwde utility must be used via the command line.
First, navigate to the proper directory:
C:\Program Files\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>
If using a 64-bit operating system, the proper directory is:
C:\Program Files <x86>\PGP Corporation\PGP Desktop>
Then run the following command:
pgpwde --status --disk 0 --xml --passphrae "passphrase here". The following output will appear:
<currentkey valid="true" alg="9"/>
<oldkey valid="false" alg="9"/>
<version>10.1.2 (Build 50).50</version>
<timestamp>Mon Nov 14 12:27:24 2011</timestamp>
The section "currentkey valid="true" alg="9"/>" lists 9 as the current algorithm.
Alg: 9 corresponds to AES-256.
Alg: 7 corresponds to AES-128.