These seemingly random sequences of numbers and letters are created and employed in a variety of ways. Even though this is a very restricted and easily overcome method of detecting current viruses, hashes bring a lot of value and help to prove identification but are also used in a variety of ways. We’ll go through a few of them in this post as we learn more about what a hash is and how it works.
What Is a Hash?
Hashes are the result of a mathematical function that converts a text string (no matter the length) into an encrypted string of a fixed length. For every given piece of data input, algorithms such as MD5 (Message Digest 5) or SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) fundamentally generate a unique, fixed-length string – the hash value.
How Do Hashes Work?
Hashing is basically a one-way cryptographic function. Because hashes are irreversible, knowing the output of a hashing method does not allow you to recreate the contents of a file. It does, however, allow you to assess whether two files are similar without knowing their contents.