A hash is a function that converts an input (or ‘message’) into a fixed-length string of bytes, which typically appears random. The output, often referred to as the hash value or hash code, is unique (ideally) to the given input. Even a small change in the input will produce a significantly different output.
- Deterministic: For a given input, the output (hash value) will always be the same.
- Fast to Compute: For any given data, it should be quick to compute the hash value.
- Irreversible: It’s computationally infeasible to regenerate the original input value given the hash output. This property is crucial for security purposes.
- Collision-Resistant: Two different inputs should not produce the same output.
- Avalanche Effect: A tiny change in the input should produce such a drastic change in output that the new hash is unrecognizable from the original.
Common Uses in Cryptography:
- Data Integrity: By comparing hash values before and after data transfer, one can determine whether data has been tampered with.
- Password Storage: Storing the hash of a password rather than the password itself. When a user logs in, the system hashes the entered password and checks it against the stored hash.
- Digital Signatures: Hash functions are used in creating digital signatures, a way to verify the integrity and authenticity of a message.
- Cryptocurrency is a form of digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security and operates independently of a central authority or traditional banking system. Cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability. Key Features: • Decentralization: Cryptocurrencies operate on a decentralized network of computers, meaning no central authority governs or regulates it. • Cryptography: Secure transactions and... Mining is the decentralized process by which new coins are entered into circulation in the cryptocurrency world. It involves solving complex mathematical problems using computational power. Miners validate and record transactions on the blockchain and are rewarded with newly minted coins. More: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin use hash functions in the mining process. Miners must find an input that, when hashed, produces an output that meets certain criteria.
Examples of Hash Algorithms:
- MD5 (Message Digest Algorithm 5): Once widely used, but now considered broken and unsuitable for further use as it’s vulnerable to hash collisions.
- SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1): Previously used in digital signatures and certificates. It’s now considered weak due to vulnerabilities.
- SHA-256: Part of the SHA-2 family, it’s currently considered secure and is used in Bitcoin’s A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger used to record transactions across multiple computers in a way that ensures the data can only be modified once it has been recorded. Once a block of data is recorded on the blockchain, it becomes extremely difficult to change it without altering all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus from the majority... More.