The output or end result value of data that has been processed
by an algorithm, transforming messages, text, or binary
data into a fixed string of numbers for security or data-management purposes.
Â“One-wayÂ” suggests that it is almost impossible to figure out the original text or data from the numerical string.
A one-way hash function is typically used for digital signature creation, which
in turn identifies and authenticates the sender of a digital message or ensures
the integrity of the binary data.
On March 11, 2005, news stories reported that a month
earlier, three Chinese cryptologists discovered how to crack a U.S.
governmentÂ–approved information security system called Secure Hash Algorithm-1,
or SHA-1. The worry was that this encryption is prevalently used within the
U.S. government, including the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon.
SHA-1 is commonly used to verify the integrity of digital media and to ensure
that secure email has not been altered during transmission.
Gertz, B. and Scarborough, R. Inside the Ring. [Online, March 11, 2005.] News
World Communications, Inc. Website.
123922-9537r.htm; Jupitermedia Corporation. One-way Hash Function. [Online,
January 8, 2002.] Jupitermedia Corporation Website.