One-way hash function

<algorithm> (Or "message digest function") A one-way function which takes a variable-length message and produces a fixed-length hash.

Given the hash it is computationally infeasible to find a message with that hash; in fact one can't determine any usable information about a message with that hash, not even a single bit.

For some one-way hash functions it's also computationally impossible to determine two messages which produce the same hash.

A one-way hash function can be private or public, just like an encryption function.

MD5, SHA and Snefru are examples of public one-way hash functions.

A public one-way hash function can be used to speed up a public-key digital signature system.

Rather than sign a long message, which can take a long time, compute the one-way hash of the message, and sign the hash.

sci.crypt FAQ (

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