Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Cryptographic hash functions map input strings of arbitrary length to fixed length output strings. They are expected to satisfy several security properties that include pre-image resistance, second pre-image resistance, and collision resistance. The free availability of efficient software-oriented hash functions such as MD4, MD5 and SHA-1 has resulted in a very broad deployment of hash functions, way beyond their initial design purposes. In spite of the importance for applications, until 2005 the amount of theoretical research and cryptanalysis invested in this topic was rather limited.