I was wondering if using a salt with a hash is more effective than hashing and encrypting your hash.

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    $\begingroup$ More effective for what use-case? Password hashing? $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2016 at 23:04

1 Answer 1


Yes. They provide different things.

The reason you hash a password is so you compare it later on without ever exposing the plaintext. A salt is used to make a large collection of hashes harder to bruteforce.

Encrypting a hash does nothing to make the hash harder to bruteforce. If you're compromised to the point your hashes are leaked, there is a good chance the attacker will also be able to figure out the encryption method and the key.

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    $\begingroup$ Saying a salt makes a hash harder to brute force is misleading. It does not make brute forcing a particular hash harder, but it can make brute forcing a corpus of hashes harder, by tying each guess to a specific hash rather than to the corpus as a whole. Encrypting hashes does in fact make brute forcing much more difficult as long as the key is kept secret — the attacker must now brute force the key as well as the password. $\endgroup$ Feb 26, 2016 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenTouset for sure. I misspoke. $\endgroup$
    – d1str0
    Feb 26, 2016 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ "...able to figure out the encryption method and the key" You may want to edit your answer instead of just acknowledging Stephen (and, hopefully, me). $\endgroup$
    – Maarten Bodewes
    Feb 27, 2016 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ Let's just say that your server had an SQL in the passwords database. At that point, doesn't encryption do about the same thing as a salt, or even potentially more? $\endgroup$
    – Stoud
    Feb 27, 2016 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @MaartenBodewes edited. $\endgroup$
    – d1str0
    Feb 27, 2016 at 19:47

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