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Database breaches and reverse engineering of hashed passwords accentuated lackluster approach of administrators maintaining sensitive data. The authors therefore evaluate the most-commonly utilized hashing algorithm, SHA-1 and MD5, as to their ability to withstand various threat scenarios. A comprehensive literature research will be presented which supports the hypothesis that security considerations when implementing cryptographic hash functions are sidelined in favor of backward-compatible procedures with provably lower level of resilience in face of deliberate attempts at obtaining sensitive data by unauthorized third parties.
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