The output or end result value of data that has been processed by an algorithm, transforming messages, text, or binary data into a fixed string of numbers for security or data-management purposes. “One-way” suggests that it is almost impossible to figure out the original text or data from the numerical string. A one-way hash function is typically used for digital signature creation, which in turn identifies and authenticates the sender of a digital message or ensures the integrity of the binary data.
On March 11, 2005, news stories reported that a month earlier, three Chinese cryptologists discovered how to crack a U.S. government–approved information security system called Secure Hash Algorithm-1, or SHA-1. The worry was that this encryption is prevalently used within the U.S. government, including the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon. SHA-1 is commonly used to verify the integrity of digital media and to ensure that secure email has not been altered during transmission.
Gertz, B. and Scarborough, R. Inside the Ring. [Online, March 11, 2005.] News World Communications, Inc. Website. http://washingtontimes.com/national/20050311- 123922-9537r.htm; Jupitermedia Corporation. One-way Hash Function. [Online, January 8, 2002.] Jupitermedia Corporation Website. http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/O/one-way_hash_ function.htm.