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While Switch is right about the difference between Merkle–Damgård and Sponge constructions, I don't believe he is correct as to NIST's reasoning. I happened to talk to a NIST cryptographer (John Kelsey) about this. He indicated that they selected Keccak not because they distrust the SHA-2 design (Merkle–Damgård is provably secure if the compression ...


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The difference is: All SHA-0, 1 & 2 and MD5 come under a class of algorithm called Merkle–Damgård construction, while SHA-3 falls under Sponge functions. Merkle–Damgård construction is a method of building collision-resistant cryptographic hash functions from collision-resistant one-way compression functions. And, Sponge functions are a class of ...



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