Cryptographic Hash Functions

Posted on Sa 18 August 2018 in Security, Cryptography, Hash Functions • Tagged with Math, Integrity, Hash-Functions, Merkle-Damgård

Introduction

This blog post will introduce cryptographic hash functions. We are going to discuss the Merkle-Damgård construction which underlies many hash functions that were and are used nowadays. The MD4, MD5, SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash families are all functions that built on top of the Merkle-Damgård construction. Then we will introduce an alternative construction that was popularized during the publication of Keccak (SHA-3): The Sponge construction.

But what are cryptographic hash functions good for?

The general idea is to apply a unique and stable fingerprint to each input data \(x …


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