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SHA-256

SHA-256

Hashing algorithm

SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm, referring to a type of mathematical function that takes a data input of arbitrary size and condenses it into a data output of fixed size. SHAs are intended to be irreversible, such that it is not possible to generate the function's input simply by knowing its output. Its security is partially dependent on how collision resistant it is, where collision resistance is a probability measurement for two different data inputs to produce the same hash output (i.e. collide with each other).

SHA-256 belongs to the SHA-2 family of hashing algorithms. The '256' denominates the bit-length of the hashing algorithm's data output. SHA-2 is the modern cryptographic standard for online security.

SHA-256 is commonly used to authenticate digital certificates, such as SSL certificates that ensure a secure link between a website and web browsers. SHA-256 is also the cryptographic hash function used for Bitcoin's Proof of Work mining.

Timeline

People

Name
Role
Related Golden topics

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type

Announcing the first SHA1 collision

CWI Amsterdam and Google

Web

Lessons From The History Of Attacks On Secure Hash Functions - Zcash

Zooko Wilcox, Zcash, and LeastAuthority

Web

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Cryptography: Hash Functions (MIT OpenCourseWare)

March 4, 2016

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

United States National Institute of Standards and Technology

Walter G. Copan (Director)

Washington D.C.

United States National Security Agency (NSA)

Paul M. Nakasone (Director)

Washington D.C.

References