back to article US gov mulls changes to popular hashing algorithm

The US government's custodian of cryptography standards has released two proposed changes to the SHA-2 hashing algorithm that are designed to boost performance on 64-bit systems. The tweaks, published this week (PDF) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, would update the 512-bit version of SHA-2, which was …

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WTF?

"... would reduce ... the performance requirements, ... by truncating the output."

Say wha...?

Umm, back in the old days, web browsers developed in the US received export permission by taking 128-bit SSL and using only the 40 least significant bits, weakening the crypto considerably.

How is this any different?

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By a factor of 3.2

The idea isn't to use SHA-512/256 instead of SHA-512: it's to use it instead of SHA-256. So it's replacing one 256-bit hash with another 256-bit hash. Completely different scenario to replacing a 128-bit cipher with a 40-bit one.

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Go

Oh great!

Generating rainbow tables for this would take less time!

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