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Actually, the Merkle–Damgård construction also specifies a padding bit after the message. The length is there the ensure that a padded message cannot be the suffix of a different longer message. A collision at the prefix leads to a collision in both messages. With a padding bit, a singe byte message 0x30 vs a 2 byte message 0x30 0x00 are padded to 0x30 0x80 ...


Isn't it still possible to find two different inputs that will be padded to the same value and then deliver the same hash? Well, no, it isn't. Given a padded message (that is, padded by adding a 1 bit, and then as many 0 bits as needed to fill it out to a multiple of the internal block size), we can unambiguously recover the original message -- by ...

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