Hash Functions

Hashing is a one-way mapping of data. It takes a variable-length input and produces a fixed-length output called a message digest or simply a hash. Unlike encryption, which can be decrypted, hashes cannot be transformed back into the original message.


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Graphic that shows sample hash values for some encrypted words and phrases. The left column shows variable-length inputs: the words “Students,” “Students are graded” and “Students are graduated.” Arrows lead to the middle column, which represents the cryptographic hash function that processes plain text and converts it to a hash value. Arrows also lead to the right column, called hash value or digest.