A cryptographic hash function is a hash function that takes an arbitrary block of data and returns a fixed-size bit string, the cryptographic hash value, such that any (accidental or intentional) change to the data will (with very high probability) change the hash value. The data to be encoded are often called the message, and the hash value is sometimes called the message digest or simply digest.
The ideal cryptographic hash function has four main properties:
- it is easy to compute the hash value for any given message
- it is infeasible to generate a message that has a given hash
- it is infeasible to modify a message without changing the hash
- it is infeasible to find two different messages with the same hash.
Cryptographic hash functions have many information security applications, notably in digital signatures, message authentication codes (MACs), and other forms of authentication. They can also be used as ordinary hash functions, to index data in hash tables, for fingerprinting, to detect duplicate data or uniquely identify files, and as checksums to detect accidental data corruption… CONTINUE