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Questions tagged [hash]

A cryptographic hash algorithm is a function which takes a variable size input and produces a fixed size output. The algorithm makes it difficult to find two inputs with the same output or reconstruct the input from the output.

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Is it feasible to build a stream cipher from a cryptographic hash function?

A few years ago I devised a symmetric-key system that worked like so: ...
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Guarding against cryptanalytic breakthroughs: combining multiple hash functions

Assume I want to design a protocol (or data format or similar) including some cryptographic hash, and want it to be as future-proof as possible, i.e. I want to avoid that breakthroughs in cryptography ...
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What makes a hash function good for password hashing?

Using a cryptographic hash to store e.g. passwords in a database is considered good practice (as opposed to storing them plaintext), but is subject to attacks on said cryptographic hash, assuming the ...
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Are common cryptographic hashes bijective when hashing a single block of the same size as the output?

It's been said that CRC-64 is bijective for a 64-bit block. It the corresponding statement true for typical cryptographic hashes, like MD5, SHA-1, SHA-2 or SHA-3? For example, would SHA-512 be ...
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Why is plain-hash-then-encrypt not a secure MAC?

It seems that even in MAC-then-encrypt systems like SSL, something like HMAC is used rather than a plain hash. Why? Suppose we use some stream cipher; then why can't we use $Encrypt(m | H(m))$ as ...
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Why is $H(k\mathbin\Vert x)$ not a secure MAC construction?

If $H(m)$ is a secure hash function, can't we implement a MAC using $H(k\mathbin\Vert m)$? However, it seems the more widely used MACs, such as NMAC and HMAC (both originally defined in Keying hash ...
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Attacks of the MAC construction $\mathcal{H}(m\mathbin\|k)$ for common hashes $\mathcal{H}$?

Consider a common practically-collision-resistant hash function $\mathcal{H}$ (e.g. SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, RIPEMD-160), perhaps based on the Merkle–Damgård construction as are the first three. We ...
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What are the odds of collisions for a hash function with 256-bit output?

There are some related questions on the net but I did not understand their solutions. I am reading in a textbook about methods of finding a collision. It states to consider a collision for a hash ...
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Can you help me understand what a cryptographic “salt” is?

I'm a beginner to cryptography and looking to understand in very simple terms what a cryptographic "salt" is, when I might need to use it, and why I should or should not use it. Can anyone offer me a ...
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Why does the padding in Merkle–Damgård hash functions like MD5 contain the message length?

I understand the need for padding in MD5. But why do we append the message length to the padding? I heard it strengthens the hash but how? Please provide an example if possible and how it applies to ...
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Security of KDF1 and KDF2 (hash based KDF's)

It's still common to come across implementations of KDF1 and KDF2. Basically these are KDF's that simply derive multiple keys from the key seed and a counter: $K_i = \operatorname{KDF}(K_{master}, i) ...
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Is SHA-256 secure as a CTR block cipher?

Generate a 256-bit random nonce. XOR it with a 256-bit reusable symmetric key. This is x. We represent numbers in simple binary instead of a counting function. <...
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How can I instantiate a generalized hash function?

I've come across a bunch of "strange" hash function notations, such as the following ones and now I don't know how to choose / instantiate them. Can you please explain me what this notation means and ...
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Why hash the message before signing it with RSA?

The diagram below illustrates the process of digitally signing a message with RSA: As diagram shows, the message is first hashed, and the signature is then computed on the hash, rather than on the ...
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Is it theoretically possible to construct a string that contains its own hash value?

After saw the xkcd comic Self-Description, I wonder if it is theoretically possible to construct a self-descriptive string that contains its own hash value? Let's say the string's MD5 value is ...
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Understanding the length extension attack

I have been trying to understand exactly how a length extension attack works on SHA-1. I'll detail below what I've understood so far, so that I can convey my understanding of the same and hopefully ...
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Why is SHA-1 considered broken?

Is there a known pair of distinct bit strings (A,B) such that SHA-1(A) == SHA-1(B)? If the answer is no, then how can SHA-1 be considered broken?
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Is the encryption of a hash a good MAC?

At university we were told that it is a bad idea to implement a MAC by simply concatenating a key with the data to sign and to run it through a hash function (e.g. $s = \mathrm{hash}(k||\mathrm{data})$...
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What are preimage resistance and collision resistance, and how can the lack thereof be exploited?

What is "preimage resistance", and how can the lack thereof be exploited? How is this different from collision resistance, and are there any known preimage attacks that would be considered feasible?
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Should I use the first or last bits from a SHA-256 hash?

I have the need for a hexadecimal token that is smaller than the normal length of the hexadecimal representation of a SHA-256 hash. Should I take the first bits or the last bits? Which of them ...
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“Weaknesses” in SHA-256d?

According to this answer, "SHA-256d" was proposed in one of the Ferguson/Schneier books like so: SHA-256d(x) = SHA-256(SHA-256(x)) Apparently, the motivation for ...
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What are the differences between a digital signature, a MAC and a hash?

A message may be accompanied with a digital signature, a MAC or a message hash, as a proof of some kind. Which assurances does each primitive provide to the recipient? What kind of keys are needed?
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What do the magic numbers 0x5c and 0x36 in the opad/ipad calc in HMAC do?

Wikipedia lists the following pseudocode for HMAC: ...
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Is HMAC needed for a SHA-3 based MAC?

HMAC does nested hashing in order to prevent Length Extension Attacks. Given that you use the SHA-3 hash (which is resistant against length extension attacks), would you still need to go through that ...
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Calculation of the avalanche effect coefficient

Given a strict avalanche criterion matrix/dependence matrix for a hash function,how do I calculate the avalanche coefficient for it. I want to calculate a single parameter(value) which represents the ...
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Pre-image resistant but not 2nd pre-image resistant?

Are there any cryptographic hash functions for which there is a known pre-image attack, or a known second pre-image attack, but not both? The attack doesn't have to be practical - just anything that ...
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Entropy when iterating cryptographic hash functions

Consider a cryptographic hash function that maps $n$-bit strings to $n$-bit strings: $$ \DeclareMathOperator{\H}{H} \DeclareMathOperator{\SHA}{SHA-256} \H(x) : \left\{0,1\right\}^{n} \mapsto \left\{0,...
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The effect of truncated hash on entropy

Suppose I have a 128-bit random binary string (128 bits of entropy), then I hash it using SHA-256, then I take the first 128 bits of the output hash. Does the taken bit string still have (almost) 128 ...
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Hash functions to generate one time pad

Newbie question... may be... Stream cypher, will XOR message bits with one time pad bits Suppose I have a pseudo random number generator, like a Mersenne twister or sort of. I could use the speudo-...
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What is the new attack on SHA-1 “SHAttered” and how does it work?

There's a new recent Attack on SHA-1 named "SHAttered" by Google and some researchers. I understand that it uses some fancy new techniques, but not the details. My question is: How? How does the ...
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Is every output of a hash function possible?

Is every output of a hash function (e.g. SHA1, MD5, etc) guaranteed to be possible, or, conversely, are there any output values that cannot possibly be created from any input? In other words, are hash ...
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Is a second preimage attack on MD5 feasible?

What's the practical status of MD5 w.r.t. second-preimage? Integrity of a piece of data is protected by an MD5 hash, itself assumed genuine. The data (and thus the hash) is known to the adversary. ...
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Is H(k||length||x) a secure MAC construction?

If $H$ is a typical secure hash function, then $(k,x) \mapsto H(k \mid\mid x)$ is not a secure MAC construction, because given a known plaintext $x_1$ and its MAC $m_1$, an attacker can extend $k \mid\...
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Strength of multiple hash iterations?

Is it correct that increasing the iteration possibly decreases the cipher strength but increases the amount of time it would take to find the original hash values if using brute-force on a given hash? ...
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Is there a difference between PRF and a hash function?

Is there a difference between PRF and a hash function? For example: Creation of a secret key is using PRF and creating a secret key is using hash function.
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Use case for extendable-output functions (XOF) such as SHAKE128/SHAKE256

FIPS 202 defines 2 functions, SHAKE128 and SHAKE256, as extendable-output functions (XOFs) that can have variable output length. But in Appendix A.2 marks: it is possible to use an XOF as a hash ...
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SHA512 faster than SHA256?

I'm getting this strange result that SHA512 is around 50% faster than SHA256. I'm using .net's SHA512Managed and SHA256Managed ...
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How is HMAC(message,key) more secure than Hash(key1+message+key2)

I understand how for hash functions which are vulnerable to length extension attacks (such as SHA1 and SHA2) it is safer to use a HMAC construction. What I don't understand is, how or why is $\...
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Why doesn't preimage resistance imply the second preimage resistance?

Let the preimage resistance be defined as »given a hash value $h$, it is hard to find any message $m$ such that $\operatorname{hash}(m)=h$«, and let the second preimage resistance be defined as »given ...
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Is there a format preserving cryptographically secure hash?

I want a way to 'scramble' strings (like words, names) in a predictable way but I don't ever want to (myself or anyone else) be able to 'unscramble' the strings. I found that perhaps what I am ...
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Definition of “pepper” in hash functions

I am confused about the notion of "pepper" in the context of storing hashes of users' passwords. Definition 1: A pepper is a secret key Looking around the Internet, for example here or here, a ...
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Proving knowledge of a preimage of a hash without disclosing it?

We consider a public hash function $H$, assumed collision-resistant and preimage-resistant (for both first and second preimage), similar in construction to SHA-1 or SHA-256. Alice discloses a value $...
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Turning a cipher into a hashing function

This is theoretical question. I'd like to know if it's possible (and what are eventually the consequences), not that I'm going to do it in one of my projects. ;) The first hashing functions created ...
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1answer
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How to to calculate the hash of an unordered set

Suppose I have a set of elements, with known hash (e.g. SHA-2). How can I calculate the hash of the set? With it I mean an unordered set, so the order of elements is undefined and shall not play any ...
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Can you make a hash out of a stream cipher?

A comment on another question made me wonder about something: Assume you're on a rather constrained platform — say, a low-end embedded device — with no built-in crypto capabilities, but ...
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Why have hashes when you have MACs?

It would seem to a naive eye that if you have a MAC, you have a hash function: use a key that all the parties know (such as all-bits-zero). A potential application would be a resource-constrained ...
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Using hash for one time pad key

Recently I've been delving into security algorithms, I already knew some of the (easy) math behind AES and RSA and how to and not to implement it. But well, i got a bit bored so i thought I'd just do ...
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Why can't we reverse hashes?

First off, I know hashes are 1 way. There are an infinite number of inputs that can result in the same hash output. Why can't we take a hash and convert it to an equivalent string that can be hashed ...
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What is a “freestart collision”?

In their work on SHA-1 collisions (cf. the EUROCRYPT-2016 paper “Freestart collision on full SHA-1” by Stevens, Karpman, and Peyrin) Stevens et al show that they are able to generate "freestart ...
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HMAC-SHA1 vs HMAC-SHA256

I have three questions: Would you use HMAC-SHA1 or HMAC-SHA256 for message authentication? How much HMAC-SHA256 is slower than HMAC-SHA1? Are the security improvements of SHA256 (over SHA1) enough to ...