Journal of Cryptology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 43–58

A fast software one-way hash function

  • Ralph C. Merkle

DOI: 10.1007/BF00203968

Cite this article as:
Merkle, R.C. J. Cryptology (1990) 3: 43. doi:10.1007/BF00203968


One way hash functions are an important cryptographic primitive, and can be used to solve a wide variety of problems involving authentication and integrity. It would be useful to adopt a standard one-way hash function for use in a wide variety of systems throughout the world. Such a standard one-way hash function should be easy to implement, use, and understand; resistant to cryptographic attack, and should be fast when implemented in software. We present a candidate one-way hash function which appears to have these desirable properties. Further analysis of its cryptographic security is required before it can be considered for widespread use.

Key words

One-way hash functionMessage digest algorithmOne-way functionManipulation detection codeMDCAuthenticationIntegrity

Copyright information

© International Association for Cryptologic Research 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph C. Merkle
    • 1
  1. 1.Xerox PARCPalo AltoUSA