You may know how sometimes a hash in a URL may be in UUID format, which consists of groups of hex values separated by hyphens. In UUID format, I have come to learn that this hash takes the form:

8-4-4-4-12 for a total of 32 characters. However, I came across a URL that had a hash for a request parameter that looked like this:


Notice that this format is 8-4-4-4-16.

Now, I was wondering if this is actually a UUID format or if this is something else entirely. It should be noted that the name of the request parameter was cid, so I don't know if "cid" is an alternative to UUID or something like that.

Also, regardless of whether it is UUID or not, how do you convert this type of hash into a normal hash with no hyphens (by that, I mean to say that I want to convert it to the output that you would get from simply using a hashing algorithm like MD5 or SHA-1 or something like that)?

  • $\begingroup$ There's no reason to think that hash functions are involved here at all. If something looks like a UUID, it probably is. Are you asking how to remove hyphens from a string? $\endgroup$
    – bmm6o
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @bmm6o I got the notion that a hash function was involved from this question here: crypto.stackexchange.com/questions/83278/… This would seem to imply that a UUID comes from doing something to a hash. However, even in the above link and the wiki that it directs to, it's implied that a UUID takes form 8-4-4-4-12. Meanwhile, the string in my post is 8-4-4-4-16. That is another point of contention for me. $\endgroup$
    – Rikudou
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 17:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If your question is ultimately "how was this string produced", that's not really something that we can answer. $\endgroup$
    – bmm6o
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


UUIDs are pretty well standardized in industry as a 16-byte entity with a 8-4-4-4-12 hex representation. There are several ways to generate a UUID, and some of them involve hashing, but simply taking 16 bytes from the output of a hash function and calling it a UUID is not compliant.

Obviously any sequence of bytes of length not equal to 16 is not a UUID. It's not unreasonable to take inspiration from the standard UUID hex representation for an arbitrary array of bytes. The UUID format has the advantage of using a small set of characters and has visual separators to reduce transcription errors.


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