A cryptographic hash algorithm is a function which takes a variable size input and produces a fixed size output. The algorithm makes it difficult to predict the output for a given input, find two inputs with the same output, or reconstruct the input from the output.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

5
votes
1answer
735 views

How does a “Tiger Tree Hash” handle data whose size isn't a power of two?

Constructing a hash tree is simple enough if the data fits into a number of blocks that is a power of two. ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Entropy when iterating cryptographic hash functions

Consider a cryptographic hash function that maps $n$-bit strings to $n$-bit strings: $$ \DeclareMathOperator{\H}{H} \DeclareMathOperator{\SHA}{SHA-256} \H(x) : \left\{0,1\right\}^{n} \mapsto ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Using a Hash as a secure PRNG

I was just looking at some NIST PRNG recommendations, specifically at Hash_DRBG. I read briefly through the algorithm, and even though it is not overly complex, it still seems unnecessary to me. I ...
4
votes
1answer
589 views

Recommended way of adding a pepper/secret key to password before hashing?

There have been several questions regarding password hashing here and on Security.SE. A "pepper" is sometimes mentioned – an application-specific secret key. The canonical answer on password hashing ...
4
votes
0answers
225 views

LT codes with Homomorphic hashing

I have been working on a project implementing LT codes with Homomorphic hashing (inspired from http://blog.notdot.net/2012/08/Damn-Cool-Algorithms-Homomorphic-Hashing and ...
8
votes
6answers
828 views

How can I improve a password generation scheme based on a shared secret and URL?

I currently use the following method to generate a different password on every website I have to login: password = SHA1 ( mainPassword . domainName . number ) ...
7
votes
1answer
411 views

Why are the initial states of hashes functions (like SHA-1) often non-zero?

There is already a question asking "Why initialize SHA1 with specific buffer?" and my question follows on from this: Why are the initial states of hash functions often non-zero? For most, I have ...
7
votes
2answers
255 views

Why have hashes when you have MACs?

It would seem to a naive eye that if you have a MAC, you have a hash function: use a key that all the parties know (such as all-bits-zero). A potential application would be a resource-constrained ...
6
votes
3answers
403 views

How many bits of hash are realistically needed for key verification?

Say I'm connecting to a web server secured with TLS but with a self-signed certificate. Accordingly, I call the owners of the server and ask them what SHA1 fingerprint they have. They start reading ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Is HMAC needed for a SHA-3 based MAC?

HMAC does nested hashing in order to prevent Length Extension Attacks. Given that you use the SHA-3 hash (which is resistant against length extension attacks), would you still need to go through that ...
5
votes
1answer
573 views

Will rehashing an SHA256 hash continually, eventually produce every possible value?

So let's say you had infinite time and energy. You have a hashed string of some sort. Because you have infinite time and energy, you can produce a collision(or the original value) easily enough. But, ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

Why is feed-forward mechanism used in hash functions?

The compression function of SHA-1 when used in Davies-Meyer mode adds its input to the chaining values at the final step. For the first message block, the IV is used as the input and in the next step, ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Why are there $ signs in my passwd file?

I am trying to get access to my eReader and I managed to get the passwd file. ...
4
votes
2answers
564 views

How did LinkedIn “salt” all their passwords?

First, just to make sure I understand "salting" correctly: You randomly generate a string to append to the password before hashing it, so as to increase its length and make precomputed tables much ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

Why does Openssh use only SHA1 for signing and verifying of digital signatures?

I am learning SSH protocol. With my current understanding of SSH protocol, I think that message digest algorithms for using in digital signature should be derived from Key Exchange. But Openssh ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Parallel-resistant proof-of-work scheme?

I am looking for a proof-of-work scheme which cannot be effectively parallelized. For example, in hashcash (and by extension bitcoin) you have some collision-resistant hash function $f()$, a target ...
3
votes
1answer
719 views

What happens to the entropy of a password when you hash it?

For example, if the entropy of a password is 30 bits, what is the entropy of the password when you hash it with MD5?
2
votes
1answer
283 views

How is HKDF-Expand better than a simple hash?

Why do we need HKDF-Expand if we can simply hash the pseudorandom key to make it longer? The docs (in the link) say: The second stage "expands" the pseudorandom key to the desired length... ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Weaker Notion of Target Collision Resistance

I'm reading the paper “Collision-Resistant Hashing? Towards Making UOWHFs Practical” which states: While it might be easy to find a collision $M,M'$ in $F_K$ by making both $M,M'$ depend on $K$ ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Dependence on Keyed Hash Function

I'm reading the paper “Collision-Resistant Hashing? Towards Making UOWHFs Practical” which states: With an ACR hash function $F$ the key $K$ is announced and the adversary wins if she manages to ...
2
votes
3answers
660 views

Salts, how does the script know what the salt is?

I am new to PHP programming and trying to grasp the idea of hashing and encryption for protecting passwords, credit card details and such. I've done a lot of reading about MD5 which I think I ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

No Birthday Attack to TCR

I'm reading the paper “Collision-Resistant Hashing? Towards Making UOWHFs Practical” , which compared TCR (Target Collision Resistant) and ACR (Any collision Resistant). It says we wish to stress ...
-1
votes
1answer
157 views

Hash Based Encryption (fast & simple), how well would this compare to AES? [duplicate]

First of all, I know it's a very bad idea to invent your own encryption algorithm. It's better to use existing known, trusted, extensively tested and studied algorithms with a proven track record. The ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the MD2 hash function S-table constructed from Pi?

For fun, I'm learning more about cryptography and hashing. I'm implementing the MD2 hash function following RFC 1319 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1319). I'll preface by saying I know there are ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Hashing or encrypting twice to increase security?

Over on the bitcoin forums I asked why the bitcoin client computes SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) as its cryptographic hash for a variety of purposes. The leading theory--since the bitcoin author has ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is every output of a hash function possible?

Is every output of a hash function (e.g. SHA1, MD5, etc) guaranteed to be possible, or, conversely, are there any output values that cannot possibly be created from any input? If so, what guarantees ...
11
votes
4answers
808 views

Are there cryptographic hash functions that can be computed using only paper and pen without leaking any information about the plaintext?

I am looking for a cryptographic hash function that can be computed by a human using only paper and pen without ever leaking any information about the plaintext on the paper. The cryptographic hash ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

What is pre-image resistance, and how can the lack thereof be exploited?

What is "preimage resistance", and how can the lack thereof be exploited? How is this different from collision resistance, and are there any known preimage attacks that would be considered feasible?
18
votes
2answers
7k views

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)?

Why use an Initialization Vector (IV)? How are IV's used? What are the advantages/disadvantages of using an IV? Why use an IV instead of a longer key in which some section of the key is pubic? What ...
9
votes
1answer
523 views

Is it possible to actually verify a “sponge function” security claim?

When using a “sponge function” to create a cryptographic hash, we can look at the flat sponge claim, which flattens the claimed success probabilities of all attacks using a single parameter: the ...
8
votes
2answers
884 views

What is a hard-core predicate?

I read this article on Wikipedia: Hard-core predicate. Still I don't understand what exactly is a hard-core predicate. Is it possible to put this in simple English terminology, and perhaps with a ...
6
votes
2answers
754 views

Hash decrypts key, key decrypts cipher… why?

I noticed recently that a couple of pieces of encryption software (TrueCrypt being one of them) don't directly use a hash of the password as the key for the block cipher. Instead, they generate a ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a simple hash function that one can compute without a computer?

I am looking for a hash function that is computable by hand (in reasonable time). The function should be at least a little bit secure: There should be no trivial way to find a collision (by hand). For ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

What security do Cryptographic Sponges offer against generic quantum attacks?

In the face of non-quantum attacker, Keccak[r=1088,c=512] with 512 bits of output provides: Collision resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Preimage resistance up to $2^{256}$ operations Second ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does SHA-1 have 80 rounds?

Why does SHA-1 algorithm have exactly 80 rounds? Is it to reduce collisions? If yes, then why do SHA-2 and SHA-3 have a lower number of rounds?
17
votes
3answers
367 views

What differentiates a password hash from a cryptographic hash besides speed?

I understand that password hashes like bcrypt have the principal property of taking a long time to run, but I'm wondering what if anything about password hashes make them superior to merely running a ...
15
votes
2answers
565 views

What is the general justification for the hardness of finding preimages for cryptographic hash functions?

Since most cryptographic hash functions are simple, compact constructions does this simplicity impose a limit on the complexity and the size of a function that can generate preimages? That is, given a ...
13
votes
3answers
972 views

Are NIST's changes to Keccak/SHA-3 problematic?

NIST is working on standardizing SHA-3. They have selected Keccak as the basis for SHA-3, and they plan to make some small changes to it; the result (with NIST's changes) will be standardized as ...
10
votes
1answer
440 views

Hash function from narrower block cipher operated in CBC-encryption mode?

I am trying to build a public hash function (thus collision-resistant and preimage-resistant, and more generally behaving like a random oracle), with input a message $M$ of fixed size $|M|=m\cdot b$ ...
8
votes
2answers
653 views

Is bcrypt better than GnupPG's iterated+salted hashing method?

GnuPG has slow hash built-in in form of iterated+salted S2K. Does it have disadvantages in comparance with bcrypt or scrypt? Is GnuPG's slow hash method easily automated in GPUs?
7
votes
1answer
6k views

HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256

I have three questions: Would you use HMAC-SHA1 or HMAC-SHA256 for message authentication? How much HMAC-SHA256 is slower than HMAC-SHA1? Are the security improvements of SHA256 (over SHA1) enough ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the difference between a hash and a permutation?

As defined by Wikipedia a hash function is [...] any algorithm or subroutine that maps large data sets of variable length to smaller data sets of a fixed length. For example, a person's name, ...
6
votes
2answers
221 views

Does the position of the salt improve its effectiveness when hashing?

Seems most documentation I have read suggests the salt should prefix the value to be hashed. Is this just for consistency, or is the salt more effective when prefixed?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What alphanumeric string length can be used to guarantee no hash collisions from CRC-64?

If I'm hashing alphanumeric strings (chars in the set 0-9, a-...
5
votes
3answers
627 views

Can I jettison MAC if I already have SHA1(M)?

I'm currently using SSL with AES-CBC and HMAC for a file transfer containing string M. Now suppose Alice already knows SHA1(M) (and the adversary does not), and she downloads M from Bob using only ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Do I have to recompute all hashes if I change the work factor in bcrypt?

The well-known article about why we should use bcrypt for hashing passwords mentions the work factor - some parameter to the algorithm that determines how long one hashing should be in terms of number ...
14
votes
2answers
874 views

Are AES-256's related-key weaknesses exploitable if it is used to build a hash?

Assume it is made a hash based on AES-256 encryption (perhaps because this is hardware-accelerated, but no standard hash is); and it is used the Merkle–Damgård structure, that is padding of the ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

At the current time, is SHA256 the de facto standard for strong cryptographic hashes?

At the current time, is SHA256 the de facto standard for strong cryptographic hashes? From what I am seeing of more sites utilizing it, I would suppose the answer to this is yes, but would like to ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Properties of PRNG / Hashes

There are a lot of quite elaborate PRNG's out there (e.g. Mersenne Twister et.al.), and they have some important properties, especially when it comes to crypto applications. So, I was wondering how ...
8
votes
1answer
525 views

Compressing EC private keys

For reasonable security, EC private keys are typically 256-bits. Shorter EC private keys are not sufficiently secure. However, shorter symmetric keys (128-bits, for example) are comparably secure. I ...