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Post Info TOPIC: What Is Hashing?

Date: Feb 2, 2023
What Is Hashing?


What Is Hashing?

Hashing is a process used to transform data or strings into a shorter, fixed-length value. It also helps encrypt and decrypt digital signatures.

It also makes it harder for hackers to steal or manipulate information. This is because hashed strings and inputs are meaningless to people without a decryption key.

Detecting tampering with files

A hash  value is a unique, cryptographically secure identifier for a file that can be used to discover files with the same content. A hash value can be created with a number of different cryptographic algorithms.

A cryptographic hash value cannot be changed or tampered with by accident, even by a malicious person. It’s also not vulnerable to data mining, so you can trust it to identify the original contents of a file.

To detect tampering with electronic files, you can use utilities available in Windows and macOS to compare the checksum of a file against its original hash value. Several free programs are available for downloading and using.

Some programs also let you review the metadata fields of a particular file type. This metadata includes details like the file format, version number and other information that can help determine whether or not a file has been tampered with.

Detecting tampering with passwords

A hash is a special mathematical function that transforms data into a unique output. Often it is used to detect tampering with files or to test the security of passwords and other important information.

In a nutshell, a hash function uses a random number to generate a cryptographically secure hash value which is then stored in a database for reference later on. For example, if you have a list of 100 different passwords that need to be remembered, hashing them into a short string of numbers and letters is one way to keep them safe from prying eyes.

As you might expect, the most significant advantage of using a hash function is that it's a lot more difficult to tamper with the results than it is to create them in the first place. This is the main reason that hashing trumps plain old text when it comes to password security. It's also a good idea to use the latest and greatest hashing algorithms, as well as adding a little bit of extra weight to the process with a salt.

Detecting tampering with messages

Data tampering occurs when an attacker alters a file or system. It can include changing network configurations, modifying user credentials to gain access to sensitive information or tampering with log files.

Current tamper-proofing schemes use cryptographic hash functions such as SHA-1 to verify that transmitted data is intact. When tampering is detected, the data is discarded and a request for retransmission is made.

Anti-tampering schemes do not simply detect tampering, they also locate where tampering has taken place and correct it accordingly. In this respect, they are very different to normal tamper detection methods.

The basic idea is to pre-compute the document’s hash tree in a manner that allows the tampering location and correction to be determined later. The document’s hash tree is then used at a later point in time to determine whether the document was legitimate in the first place, and to locate where it has been tampered with.

Detecting tampering with databases

Databases are often used as a way to store and manage large amounts of data. Security is a key concern in these systems. Tampering with databases can allow an attacker to access sensitive information.

One way to detect tampering is with hash functions. These functions covert data of arbitrary length into a fixed length value.

In a nutshell, this means that any tampered record will have a hash that reflects the changes. This is a valuable source of information that can help detect tampering with your data.

However, a problem occurs when an attacker disables logging in order to protect their tracks (e.g., Malice from a government agency). The attacker has thus completely bypassed any tampering detection mechanism that is built into the DBMS itself.

In this paper we propose a technique to detect tampering with a database log file by using a hash function. This has been evaluated in a replication and sharding mode for a MongoDB and Cassandra database.

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