Concept

Cryptographic hash function

Summary
A cryptographic hash function (CHF) is a hash algorithm (a map of an arbitrary binary string to a binary string with a fixed size of n bits) that has special properties desirable for a cryptographic application:
  • the probability of a particular n-bit output result (hash value) for a random input string ("message") is 2^{-n} (as for any good hash), so the hash value can be used as a representative of the message;
  • finding an input string that matches a given hash value (a pre-image) is unfeasible, assuming all input strings are equally likely. The resistance to such search is quantified as security strength, a cryptographic hash with n bits of hash value is expected to have a preimage resistance strength of n bits. However, if the space of possible inputs is significantly smaller than 2^{n}, or if it can be ordered by likelihood, then the hash value can serve as an oracle, allowing efficient search of t
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