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I create a hash with SHA3-384. I split the resulting array into two. The first called head has the first 320 bits and the second called tail has the last 64 bits.

Next, I XOR head and tail. Which in fact means I XOR the last 64 bits of head with tail. This gives me a new hash of length 320.

The question is how is this resulting hash in terms of collision resistance compared to SHA-256 on one side and SHA-384 on the other side.

My goal is to produce a 320-bits hash. Is there a better way you would go about this?

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Truncating a hash does reduce the collision resistance. Mixing in an independent string does not.

$$ \text{random thing} \oplus \text{independent thing} \to \text{random thing}\\ \text{random thing} \oplus \text{independent random thing} \to \text{random thing} $$

Truncating hashes is common and the reduction is relative to the bits lost. The truncated $\text{sha3}_{384[320]}$ should be stronger than $\text{sha2}_{256}$ and is weaker than $\text{sha3}_{384}$.

I recommend that you do not try to mix in the truncated $64$-bits.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I ended up extending KeccakDisgest class from Bouncycastle to overwrite the init() method so i can pass my length directly. It works like a charm. $\endgroup$
    – Klaus
    Mar 11, 2018 at 15:24

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