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1

SHA-1 is measurably faster and I would like to know if its insecurity is still there, when used in a Merkle tree. Yes, the insecurity is still there. Any collision in the underlying hash function can be used to produce a collision in the root of the Merkle tree. A quick example: Suppose our SHA-1 Merkle tree has two leaf nodes, $a$ and $b$, and that ...


4

Most likely, the hardware engine has an API accepting an IV of 256 bits (32 bytes) and a data block of some size multiple of 512 bits (64 bytes), and returns a result of 32 bytes. Given that SHA-256 is a Merkle-Damgård hash, in order to chain invocations of that API, you want to pass the SHA-256 IV (given by FIPS 186-4 section 5.3.3) as the IV of the first ...



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