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HMAC-SHA-256 is sufficient for up to 256 bit security. Confer e.g. NIST SP 800-107. This recommendation is based on the premise that collision attacks are infeasible against common uses of HMAC, and that you consequently only have to worry about primary pre-image attacks that attempt to recover the secret key (and use this for forging subsequent messages). ...


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I haven't seen much analysis on using ordinary hashes for content authentication. Can anyone can give me a pointer on whether this is safe? With good choice of primitives it is. Public key signatures use a hash function in a similar way to identify the message signed. However, where a MAC only needs what amounts to second preimage resistance, a hash ...



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