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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Guarding against cryptanalytic breakthroughs: combining multiple hash functions

Assume I want to design a protocol (or data format or similar) including some cryptographic hash, and want it to be as future-proof as possible, i.e. I want to avoid that breakthroughs in cryptography ...
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Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
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What makes a hash function good for password hashing?

Using a cryptographic hash to store e.g. passwords in a database is considered good practice (as opposed to storing them plaintext), but is subject to attacks on said cryptographic hash, assuming the ...
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Is SHA-512 bijective when hashing a single 512-bit block?

It's been said that CRC-64 is bijective for a 64-bit block. It the corresponding statement true for SHA-2?
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Attacks of the MAC construction $\mathcal{H}(m||k)$ for common hashes $\mathcal{H}$?

Consider a common practically-collision-resistant hash function $\mathcal{H}$ (e.g. SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160), perhaps based on the Merkle–Damgård construction as are the first three. We ...
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Pre-image resistant but not 2nd pre-image resistant?

Are there any cryptographic hash functions for which there is a known pre-image attack, or a known second pre-image attack, but not both? The attack doesn't have to be practical - just anything that ...
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Why does the padding in Merkle–Damgård hash functions like MD5 contain the message length?

I understand the need for padding in MD5. But why do we append the message length to the padding? I heard it strengthens the hash but how? Please provide an example if possible and how it applies to ...
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Should I use the first or last bits from a SHA-256 hash?

I have the need for a hexadecimal token that is smaller than the normal length of the hexadecimal representation of a SHA-256 hash. Should I take the first bits or the last bits? Which of them ...
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Why is H(k||x) not a secure MAC construction?

If H(m) is a secure hash function, can't we implement a MAC using H(k||m)? However, it seems the more widely used MACs, such as NMAC and HMAC (both originally defined in Keying hash functions for ...
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Is SHA-256 secure as a CTR block cipher?

Generate a 256-bit random nonce. XOR it with a 256-bit reusable symmetric key. This is x. We represent numbers in simple binary instead of a counting function. ...
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Is using slow password hashing on the client side easier attackable than on the server side?

As we know, one should use a slow password hashing algorithm instead of a fast one for storing passwords, to hinder brute force attacks when the database is compromised. The problem with this is that ...
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What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
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Is a second preimage attack on MD5 feasible?

What's the practical status of MD5 w.r.t. second-preimage? Integrity of a piece of data is protected by an MD5 hash, itself assumed genuine. The data (and thus the hash) is known to the adversary. ...
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Strength of multiple hash iterations?

Is it correct that increasing the iteration possibly decreases the cipher strength but increases the amount of time it would take to find the original hash values if using brute-force on a given hash? ...
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Is the encryption of a hash a good MAC?

At university we were told that it is a bad idea to implement a MAC by simply concatenating a key with the data to sign and to run it through a hash function (e.g. $s = ...
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Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
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understanding a length extension attack

I have been trying to understand exactly how a length extension attack works on SHA-1. I'll detail below what I've understood so far, so that I can convey my understanding of the same and hopefully ...
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Is digest=HASH(HASH(a)+HASH(b)) equivalent to publishing two digests?

Is combining digests (created using a hash function) using arithmetic addition, and then hashing and publishing the result, less secure than publishing the set of digests? Does the answer change if ...
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In the SHA hash algorithm, why is the message always padded?

In the SHA hash algorithm the message is always padded, even if initially the correct length without padding; the padding is of the form "1" followed by the necessary number of 0s. Why is it ...
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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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No SHA-1 collision? Yet SHA-1 is broken?

Is there a known pair of distinct bit strings (A,B) such that SHA-1(A) == SHA-1(B)? If the answer is no than how can SHA-1 be considered broken?
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Why does PBKDF2 xor the iterations of the hash function together?

The definition of PBKDF2 states that I obtain a derived key (1) by calling a pseudorandom function a bunch of times recursively: $U_1 = PRF(password, salt)$ $U_2 = PRF(password, U_1)$ … $U_n ...
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From hash to Cryptographic hash

After reading some excellent papers on SipHash, I understood that good non-cryptographic hashes such as MurmurHash and CityHash are not secure for MAC usage, due to a certain type of DDos attack ...
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Can you make a hash out of a stream cipher?

A comment on another question made me wonder about something: Assume you're on a rather constrained platform — say, a low-end embedded device — with no built-in crypto capabilities, ...
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Why hash or salt when signing?

I've seen an example of how to sign using RSA. Besides the signing itself (s = m^d mod n) it also hashes and adds an IV. Why is that needed?
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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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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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Is it theoretically possible to construct a string that contain its own hash value?

After saw the xkcd comic self-description, I wonder is it theoretically possible to construct a self-descriptive string that contains its own hash value? Let's say the string's md5 value is ...
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“SHA-256” vs “any 256 bits of SHA-512”, which is more secure?

In terms of security strength, Is there any difference in using the SHA-256 algorithm vs using any random 256 bits of the output of the SHA-512 algorithm? Similarly, what is the security difference ...
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Why is plain-hash-then-encrypt not a secure MAC?

It seems that even in MAC-then-encrypt systems like SSL, something like HMAC is used rather than a plain hash. Why? Suppose we use some stream cipher; then why can't we use $Encrypt(m | H(m))$ as ...
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“Weaknesses” in SHA-256d?

According to this answer, "SHA-256d" was proposed in one of the Ferguson/Schneier books like so: SHA-256d(x) = SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) Apparently, the motivation for ...
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How can rainbow tables be used for a dictionary attack?

I'm putting together a password policy for my company. I very much want to avoid requiring complex passwords, and would much rather require length. The maximum length I can enforce is 14 characters. ...
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How well does scrypt perform on different architectures / OSes?

The scrypt algorithm seems to be a prominent feature in the "CPU friendly" Bitcoin clones for the proof-of-labor part. I've heard claims that it's relatively slow on Windows and/or Intel compared to ...
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Counter mode secure hash algorithm

Ever since the SHA-3 competition, I've been wondering if it is possible to create a hash algorithm that is easier to parallelize. The current algorithms all seem to require building a tree of hashes. ...
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Use of salt to hash a password

In a few implementations of hashed passwords, I have seen that the length of the random salt is chosen to be, say, 10 or "some constant". Is there any specific reason why the salt is chosen to have a ...
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What is the purpose of using different hash functions for the leaves and internals of a hash tree?

I just learned that the THEX hash tree specification which is widely used in P2P requires that two different hash functions be used: one for the leaf nodes (hashes of input data) and one for the ...
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Is H(k||length||x) a secure MAC construction?

If $H$ is a typical secure hash function, then $(k,x) \mapsto H(k \mid\mid x)$ is not a secure MAC construction, because given a known plaintext $x_1$ and its MAC $m_1$, an attacker can extend $k ...
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Turning a cipher into a hashing function

This is theoretical question. I'd like to know if it's possible (and what are eventually the consequences), not that I'm going to do it in one of my projects. ;) The first hashing functions created ...
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Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)?

Can Skein be used as a secure MAC in format H(k || m)? I understand it can work with HMAC, but it is fine as a one-pass MAC in the format above and resists length extension attacks. Is this ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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Why are these specific values used to initialise the hash buffer in SHA-512?

I'm reading the book Network Security Essentials written by William Stallings. To create a message digest with SHA-512, we have to go through some steps: append padding bits. append length ...
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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 ) ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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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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. ...
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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 ...
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Webapp password storage: Salting a hash vs multiple hashes?

For security's sake, of course it's blasphemous to store passwords in plain-text; using a hash function and then doing a re-hash and comparison is considered much better. But, if bad guys steal your ...