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.

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Key Length & Hashing

I need to use a hash function to generate a 128-bit key for a symmetric cipher. The specific cipher is from the eStream portofolio, called Rabbit. I am using the SRP protocol for authentication (a ...
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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 ...
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Finding hash almost-collisions

A few months ago, XKCD posted a challenge to find a plaintext which hashed (using Skein 1024 1024) to a specified value. Inputs were scored based on the hamming distance between the hash of the ...
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Is there any research on the problem of making a number more memorable to humans?

Authentication protocols often rely on humans dealing with large numbers correctly. For example, when a user logs into a remote machine using SSH for the first time, she is prompted to confirm that ...
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Difference between “Signature Algorithm” and “Signature Hash Algorithm” in X.509

What's the difference between the "Signature Algorithm" and the "Signature Hash Algorithm" found in an X.509 certificate? Why does it need a "Signature Hash Algorithm"? Edit: I'm creating the ...
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Asymmetric algorithm to generate compact unique messages that can be validated

I have a cryptographic problem with the following characteristics: I need to generate a set of relatively short messages; say 20 bytes in length The contents of the messages themselves is not ...
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895 views

In which situations is a length-extension attack a problem?

A lot of hash functions, including the SHA-2 family(but not the SHA-3 candidates and SHA256d) are vulnerable to length extension attacks. But when is this property a problem? I guess certain naive ...
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619 views

Security of KDF1 and KDF2 (hash based KDF's)

It's still common to come across implementations of KDF1 and KDF2. Basically these are KDF's that simply derive multiple keys from the key seed and a counter: $K_i = KDF(K_{master}, i) = H(K_{master} ...
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How were shift amount constants in MD5 found?

The md5 specification gives a series of 4 rounds to execute over a 16-word block. Each round has a repeating sequence of 4 shift amounts (s in ...
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What is the recommended replacement for MD5?

Since MD5 is broken for purposes of security, what hash should I be using now for secure applications?
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Does MD5 generate 128 independent bits?

I heard that there are 128 stochastically independent bits in an MD5 output. Is that true? If so, are there any citations or proofs for that?
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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, ...
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Strength of MD5 in finding duplicate files

Why are there a lot of duplicate file finder applications which are using MD5 Algorithm? What is the strength of MD5 in terms of searching duplicate files in hard disk or flash driver or any other ...
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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-...
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Can the XOR of two non-collision-resistant hashes be collision resistant?

Suppose I have two hash functions, of which neither (or only one) is collision resistant, and I want to create a new hash function by taking the bitwise exclusive or (XOR) of the results of those two ...
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264 views

Could a very long password theoretically eliminate the need for a slow hash?

Before I provide details, I want to clarify that I am not looking to implement this practically, but I'm only asking to get a better understanding. The way I currently understand it, we use slow ...
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Constructing a block-cipher from a hash function

It is possible to use a hash function to construct a block cipher with a structure similar to DES? Because a hash function is one way and a block cipher must be reversible (to decrypt), how is it ...
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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?
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How can I validate a hashed password if all I have is another hash?

The Scenario I have a client-side web application that bounces requests against a server-side API. For the sake of simplicity, every request must pass a username and password. This is similar to ...
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If attacker knows salt and hash, how is salt effective?

Maybe I'm missing something, but if my salt and hashed/salted password are stored in the same place, how is salting any more secure than just hashing? Does this just rely on attackers not knowing how ...
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Why do I need to add the original salt to each hash iteration of a password?

I understand it is important to hash passwords over multiple iterations to make things harder for an attacker. I have read numerous times that when processing these iterations, it is critical to hash ...
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Any point in waiting for the SHA-3 standard?

The Wikipedia article on SHA-3 says that Keccak has been chosen but the standard hasn't been issued. Does this matter? That is, can we just assume it's going to be as specified by the submitters ...
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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 ...
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Can there be two hash functions without common collisions?

Is there a way to prove/create (or are there known hash functions) two hash functions that never have the same collision? I mean, like provable in way that someone who took one cryptography class in ...
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954 views

Does collision resistance imply (or not) second-preimage resistance?

I've seen contradictory results. Sometimes hash functions are collision-resistant but not necessarily second-preimage resistant. I've seen this kind of things in papers from Bart Preneel: “Security ...
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Fast hashing into elliptic curve

Is there a fast algorithm for mapping $n$-bit numbers $s$ (for fixed $n$) into a cyclic subgroup of an elliptic curve (over a finite field) in which the Discrete Logarithm Problem is hard? By fast, I ...
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Does having multiple hash iterations of the same message weaken your original message security?

Take a hash function H() to be something like SHA-256 and message m. If you are given H(m) ...
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Rely on NSA Suite B Cryptography?

NSA's Suite B Cryptography suggests some cryptographic algorithms for encryption, digital signatures, message digests and key agreements. The selected algorithms and their key size are suggested by ...
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Formal definition of “explicit” algorithm?

A long time ago, I read that the definition of "cryptographic hash function" is "collision-resistant one-way function". (A similar definition shows up in the FIPS standards for SHA-1 etc.) But this ...
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Are cryptographic hash functions perfect hash functions?

For a cryptographic hash function and input values of shorter length than the hash function output, it's pretty obvious that there should be as few collisions as possible. But are there guaranteed to ...
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375 views

What's the reason for applying the hash twice when hashing with salt?

One of the typical approaches to computing a salted hash is this: hash(salt+hash(secret)) where hash is something like SHA-256 hash function - taking any size ...
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How are timestamps verified?

You put an input and the hash value comes as an output then when someone puts the input the hash function it is applied to see if it is the same hash original value is stored in some database , that ...
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The effect of truncated hash on entropy

Suppose i have a 128 bits random binary string (128 bits of entropy), then i hash it using SHA-256, then i take the first 128 bits of the output hash. Does the taken bit string still have (almost) 128 ...
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Is there a string that's hash is equal to itself?

I was wondering if there's any string that has a hash equal to itself, so that – when using any (none specific) hash function – the hash would be equal to that string? so that: ...
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How can uniformity of hash functions (e.g. SHA-256) be proved?

In reading about the Bitcoin protocol I noticed how much its proofs-of-work apparently depend on uniformity of the SHA-256 hash function. And so presumably do many other applications. How do ...
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Is there a hash function which has no collisions?

Is there a hash function which has no collisions? To clarify: it would be some function which would produce variable-length output, and never produce the same output for differing input. It would ...
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Meaning of “family” in “family of hash functions”

Many definitions related to universal hashing mention the term "a family of hash functions, say $H$". What does this 'family' mean exactly? A numerical example would be appreciated. Also, what does it ...
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Example Rainbow Table Generation

I have read up on rainbow tables and think I understand the idea behind them. However, I find that it would be better for me to actually attempt to implement a (very basic) rainbow table generator in ...
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Why doesn't preimage resistance imply the second preimage resistance?

Let the preimage resistance be defined as »given a hash value $h$, it is hard to find any message $m$ such that $\operatorname{hash}(m)=h$«, and let the second preimage resistance be defined as »given ...
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How are secure hashing and encryption algorithms proven?

Given that: You should always use proven secure hashing and encryption algorithms, rather than attempting to write your own. What's the process for criteria for an algorithm being proven? Is ...
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402 views

When using HMAC, does key encoding matter?

Given: H is a good hash function with block size L. K is a key of length >= L (recommended by RFC 2104). Khex and Kbase64 are ASCII encodings of K. In the HMAC algorithm, is there a good reason to ...
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What's the state of the attack to get the first pre-image on MD4?

What's the state of the attack to get the first pre-image on MD4? Is it still $2^{102}$ as described by Gaëtan Leurent in "MD4 is Not One-Way" ?
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Is SpookyHash vulnerable to HashDoS?

Aumasson, Bernstein and Bosslet did an excellent job demonstrating fatal weaknesses in MurmurHash and CityHash, but what about SpookyHash? My first uneducated guess is that it would be much harder to ...
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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 ...
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Creating an encryption key from several other keys and using hash functions

I want to combine two or more keys to create a single encryption key that relies on all of them. What is the proper method for doing that? Simple XOR? Using hash functions? Something else? I ...
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What does pseudo pre-image of a hash function mean?

So finding a pre-image means given the hash value, one tries to find a message that gives this value using the function's standard IV. What about pseudo-preimage?
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Is the first version of the Message-Digest algorithm by Ronald Rivest publically available?

Diving into the history and evolution of the Message-Digest algorithm by Ronald Rivest, I have been able to track back papers from MD6 down to MD2. Yet, somehow I can not seem to be able to find any ...
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690 views

Can I use a key-derivation-function as the hash function H in SRP?

In the Secure Remote Password Protocol, the verifier must be stored on the server. In the case of a server compromise, an attacker could obtain these verifiers. If nobody reused passwords, this ...
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175 views

Can a proof be constructed to show there is no distinguisher?

Let's assume a simple algorithm like the Skein hash function. Is it possible, given the algorithm, to construct a proof that it does not have a particular distinguisher, something like: $P(xyz)$ is ...
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205 views

Significance of rotation constants in SHA-512?

In a single round of SHA-512, in the operations $\Sigma_0(A)$, $\Sigma_1(E)$ why are the constants $28$, $34$, and $39$ used for the number of rotations? What significance do these numbers have? What ...