SHA-1 produces a message digest based on principles similar to those used by Ronald L. Rivest of MIT in the design of the MD4 and MD5 message digest algorithms, but has a more conservative design.

SHA-1 was developed as part of the U.S. Government's Capstone project. The original specification of the algorithm was published in 1993 under the title Secure Hash Standard, FIPS PUB 180, by U.S. government standards agency NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology). This version is now often named SHA-0. It was withdrawn by the NSA shortly after publication and was superseded by the revised version, published in 1995 in FIPS PUB 180-1 and commonly designated SHA-1. SHA-1 differs from SHA-0 only by a single bitwise rotation in the message schedule of its compression function. According to the NSA, this was done to correct a flaw in the original algorithm which reduced its cryptographic security, but they did not provide any further explanation.Publicly available techniques did indeed compromise SHA-0 before SHA-1.

SHA-1 forms part of several widely used security applications and protocols, including TLS and SSL, PGP, SSH, S/MIME, and IPsec. Those applications can also use MD5; both MD5 and SHA-1 are descended from MD4. SHA-1 hashing is also used in distributed revision control systems like Git, Mercurial, and Monotone to identify revisions, and to detect data corruption or tampering. The algorithm has also been used on Nintendo's Wii gaming console for signature verification when booting, but a significant flaw in the first implementations of the firmware allowed for an attacker to bypass the system's security scheme.

SHA-1 and SHA-2 are the hash algorithms required by law for use in certain U.S. government applications, including use within other cryptographic algorithms and protocols, for the protection of sensitive unclassified information. FIPS PUB 180-1 also encouraged adoption and use of SHA-1 by private and commercial organizations. SHA-1 is being retired from most government uses; the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology said, "Federal agencies should stop using SHA-1 for...applications that require collision resistance as soon as practical, and must use the SHA-2 family of hash functions for these applications after 2010" (emphasis in original), though that was later relaxed.

A prime motivation for the publication of the Secure Hash Algorithm was the Digital Signature Standard, in which it is incorporated.

The SHA hash functions have been used for the basis of the SHACAL block ciphers.

Cryptanalysis and validation

For a hash function for which L is the number of bits in the message digest, finding a message that corresponds to a given message digest can always be done using a brute force search in approximately 2L evaluations. This is called a preimage attack and may or may not be practical depending on L and the particular computing environment. However, a collision, consisting of finding two different messages that produce the same message digest, requires on average only about 1.2 × 2L/2 evaluations using a birthday attack. Thus the strength of a hash function is usually compared to a symmetric cipher of half the message digest length. SHA-1, which has a 160-bit message digest, was originally thought to have 80-bit strength.

In 2005, cryptographers Xiaoyun Wang, Yiqun Lisa Yin, and Hongbo Yu produced collision pairs for SHA-0 and have found algorithms that should produce SHA-1 collisions in far fewer than the originally expected 280 evaluations.

In terms of practical security, a major concern about these new attacks is that they might pave the way to more efficient ones. Whether this is the case is yet to be seen, but a migration to stronger hashes is believed to be prudent. Some of the applications that use cryptographic hashes, like password storage, are only minimally affected by a collision attack. Constructing a password that works for a given account requires a preimage attack, as well as access to the hash of the original password, which may or may not be trivial. Reversing password encryption (e.g. to obtain a password to try against a user's account elsewhere) is not made possible by the attacks. (However, even a secure password hash can't prevent brute-force attacks on weak passwords.)

In the case of document signing, an attacker could not simply fake a signature from an existing document: The attacker would have to produce a pair of documents, one innocuous and one damaging, and get the private key holder to sign the innocuous document. There are practical circumstances in which this is possible; until the end of 2008, it was possible to create forged SSL certificates using an MD5 collision.

Due to the block and iterative structure of the algorithms and the absence of additional final steps, all SHA functions (except SHA-3) are vulnerable to length-extension and partial-message collision attacks.These attacks allow an attacker to forge a message signed only by a keyed hash — SHA(message || key) or SHA(key || message) — by extending the message and recalculating the hash without knowing the key. A simple improvement to prevent these attacks is to hash twice: SHAd(message) = SHA(SHA(0b || message)) (the length of 0b, zero block, is equal to the block size of the hash function).

The MD2 algorithm

The MD2 Message-Digest Algorithm is a cryptographic hash function developed by Ronald Rivest in 1989. The algorithm is optimized for 8-bit computers. MD2 is specified in RFC 1319. Although MD2 is no longer considered secure, even as of 2014, it remains in use in public key infrastructures as part of certificates generated with MD2 and RSA. The MD2 hash function receives its acronym MD from its structure using Merkle–Damgård construction.


The 128-bit hash value of any message is formed by padding it to a multiple of the block length (128 bits or 16 bytes) and adding a 16-byte checksum to it. For the actual calculation, a 48-byte auxiliary block and a 256-byte S-table generated indirectly from the digits of the fractional part of pi are used (see nothing up my sleeve number). The algorithm runs through a loop where it permutes each byte in the auxiliary block 18 times for every 16 input bytes processed. Once all of the blocks of the (lengthened) message have been processed, the first partial block of the auxiliary block becomes the hash value of the message.

The S-table's values are derived from Pi and in hex are:

{ 0x29, 0x2E, 0x43, 0xC9, 0xA2, 0xD8, 0x7C, 0x01, 0x3D, 0x36, 0x54, 0xA1, 0xEC, 0xF0, 0x06, 0x13,
 0x62, 0xA7, 0x05, 0xF3, 0xC0, 0xC7, 0x73, 0x8C, 0x98, 0x93, 0x2B, 0xD9, 0xBC, 0x4C, 0x82, 0xCA,
 0x1E, 0x9B, 0x57, 0x3C, 0xFD, 0xD4, 0xE0, 0x16, 0x67, 0x42, 0x6F, 0x18, 0x8A, 0x17, 0xE5, 0x12,
 0xBE, 0x4E, 0xC4, 0xD6, 0xDA, 0x9E, 0xDE, 0x49, 0xA0, 0xFB, 0xF5, 0x8E, 0xBB, 0x2F, 0xEE, 0x7A,
 0xA9, 0x68, 0x79, 0x91, 0x15, 0xB2, 0x07, 0x3F, 0x94, 0xC2, 0x10, 0x89, 0x0B, 0x22, 0x5F, 0x21,
 0x80, 0x7F, 0x5D, 0x9A, 0x5A, 0x90, 0x32, 0x27, 0x35, 0x3E, 0xCC, 0xE7, 0xBF, 0xF7, 0x97, 0x03,
 0xFF, 0x19, 0x30, 0xB3, 0x48, 0xA5, 0xB5, 0xD1, 0xD7, 0x5E, 0x92, 0x2A, 0xAC, 0x56, 0xAA, 0xC6,
 0x4F, 0xB8, 0x38, 0xD2, 0x96, 0xA4, 0x7D, 0xB6, 0x76, 0xFC, 0x6B, 0xE2, 0x9C, 0x74, 0x04, 0xF1,
 0x45, 0x9D, 0x70, 0x59, 0x64, 0x71, 0x87, 0x20, 0x86, 0x5B, 0xCF, 0x65, 0xE6, 0x2D, 0xA8, 0x02,
 0x1B, 0x60, 0x25, 0xAD, 0xAE, 0xB0, 0xB9, 0xF6, 0x1C, 0x46, 0x61, 0x69, 0x34, 0x40, 0x7E, 0x0F,
 0x55, 0x47, 0xA3, 0x23, 0xDD, 0x51, 0xAF, 0x3A, 0xC3, 0x5C, 0xF9, 0xCE, 0xBA, 0xC5, 0xEA, 0x26,
 0x2C, 0x53, 0x0D, 0x6E, 0x85, 0x28, 0x84, 0x09, 0xD3, 0xDF, 0xCD, 0xF4, 0x41, 0x81, 0x4D, 0x52,
 0x6A, 0xDC, 0x37, 0xC8, 0x6C, 0xC1, 0xAB, 0xFA, 0x24, 0xE1, 0x7B, 0x08, 0x0C, 0xBD, 0xB1, 0x4A,
 0x78, 0x88, 0x95, 0x8B, 0xE3, 0x63, 0xE8, 0x6D, 0xE9, 0xCB, 0xD5, 0xFE, 0x3B, 0x00, 0x1D, 0x39,
 0xF2, 0xEF, 0xB7, 0x0E, 0x66, 0x58, 0xD0, 0xE4, 0xA6, 0x77, 0x72, 0xF8, 0xEB, 0x75, 0x4B, 0x0A,
 0x31, 0x44, 0x50, 0xB4, 0x8F, 0xED, 0x1F, 0x1A, 0xDB, 0x99, 0x8D, 0x33, 0x9F, 0x11, 0x83, 0x14 }

MD2 hashes

The 128-bit (16-byte) MD2 hashes (also termed message digests) are typically represented as 32-digit hexadecimal numbers. The following demonstrates a 43-byte ASCII input and the corresponding MD2 hash:

 MD2("The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog") =

As the result of the avalanche effect in MD2, even a small change in the input message will (with overwhelming probability) result in a completely different hash. For example, changing the letter d to c in the message results in:

 MD2("The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy cog") =

The hash of the zero-length string is:

 MD2("") =


Rogier and Chauvaud (1997) described collisions of MD2's compression function, although they were unable to extend the attack to the full MD2.

In 2004, MD2 was shown to be vulnerable to a preimage attack with time complexity equivalent to 2104 applications of the compression function (Muller, 2004). The author concludes, "MD2 can no longer be considered a secure one-way hash function".

In 2008, MD2 has further improvements on a preimage attack with time complexity of 273 compression function evaluations and memory requirements of 273 message blocks.

In 2009, MD2 was shown to be vulnerable to a collision attack with time complexity of 263.3 compression function evaluations and memory requirements of 252 hash values. This is slightly better than the birthday attack which is expected to take 265.5 compression function evaluations.

In 2009, security updates were issued disabling MD2 in OpenSSL, GnuTLS, and Network Security Services.

Check out the Rubiks Cube Wiki to learn the solution of the Rubik's Cube and other twisty puzzles like Pyraminx, Square-1, Skewb etc.