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Hash Functions A hash function takes data of arbitrary size and returns a value in a fixed range. If you compute the hash of the same data at different times, you should get the same answer – if not then the data has been modified.

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Properties of a hash function A hash function h acts on data x and returns a value h(x). The hash function should have these 4 essential properties: 1.Given x it should be easy to compute h(x). 2.The input x can be of arbitrary length. 3.Given a value y, it should be hard to find an x such that h(x) = y. 4.It is hard to find two different inputs x 1 and x 2 such that h(x 1 ) = h(x 2 ).

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Why are these important? 1.To make computations fast and efficient. 2.So that any message can be hashed. 3.To prevent a message being replaced with another with the same hash value. 4.To prevent the sender claiming to have sent x 2 when in fact the message was x 1.

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The Secure Hash Algorithm SHA-1 1.Arbitrary length input is divided into blocks of 512 bits. The last block is padded to make 448 bits and the rest of the block is used to give the length of the input before padding. 2.Each 512 bit block is split into 16 32-bit words denoted by w(0), w(1),….,w(15). 3.These are expanded into 80 words w(0),…,w(79)

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4.Initially 5 32-bit words h 0,….,h 4 are given particular values. 5.For each 512-bit block, SHA-1 operates on w(0),…..,w(79) and h 0,….,h 4 using shifts, bitstring operations (and, or) and modular arithmetic mod 2 32 to produce new values of h 0,….,h 4. 6.These new value of h 0,….,h 4 form the initial data for the next block which is expanded and operated on as above to produce the next values of h 0,….,h 4.

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7.This process of generating new values of h 0,….,h 4 continues until all of the 512 bit blocks has been processed. 8.The final set of values h 0,….,h 4 are then concatenated to form a 160 bit value which is the output of the hash function.

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SHA-1 and digital signatures Instead of sending and signing a message m, Bob can hash m to get SHA(m) and then encrypt SHA(m) using his private key to get a signature s. Bob then sends the pair (m,s) to Alice. On receiving the message, Alice –decrypts s using Bobs public key –hashes m to get SHA(m) If these two values are the same then the message is authenticated.

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SHA-1 and Certificates X.509 Standard Bob generates a document containing his relevant information and presents himself with this document to the CA. The CA confirm Bobs identity. The CA hash the document using SHA-1 and encrypt it using their own private key. This is the certificate.

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If Alice wants to communicate with Bob she looks up his public key document and certificate. She will use the public key of the CA to decrypt the certificate. She will hash the document using SHA-1 If these two items are the same then she knows that she can safely communicate with Bob using the public key since the CA has verified his identity.

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