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An Introduction to Secure Hash Algorithms

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Cryptographic hashing has many uses in information security such as digital signature verification and identifying changes in data. Beginning in the early 1990s, the National Security Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have published cryptographic hash standards which have been incorporated into security applications and protocols globally. As theoretical or real-world attacks succeed against the hash functions, more are developed to strengthen the weaknesses of previous designs. NIST ’s set of cryptographically secure hash algorithms now contains three main hash functions (SHA-1, SHA -2, SHA -3) with additional variations.

In this talk, we will discuss what makes a hash algorithm cryptographically secure, how previous SHA algorithms have been compromised, the NIST competition hash competition to find a divergently-designed hash algorithm, and the SHA -3 algorithm that became a secure hashing standard after winning the competition.

This talk is part of the Churchill CompSci Talks series.

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