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In cryptography, SHA1 is a cryptographic hash function designed by the National Security Agency and published by the NIST as a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard. SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. The three SHA algorithms are structured differently and are distinguished as SHA0, SHA1, and SHA2. SHA1 is very similar to SHA0, but corrects an error in the original SHA hash specification that led to significant weaknesses. The SHA0 algorithm was not adopted by many applications. SHA2 on the other hand significantly differs from the SHA1 hash function.
SHA1 is the most widely used of the existing SHA hash functions, and is employed in several widelyused security applications and protocols. In 2005, security flaws were identified in SHA1, namely that a mathematical weakness might exist, indicating that a stronger hash function would be desirable. Although no successful attacks have yet been reported on the SHA2 variants, they are algorithmically similar to SHA1 and so efforts are underway to develop improved alternatives. A new hash standard, SHA3, is currently under development — an ongoing NIST hash function competition is scheduled to end with the selection of a winning function in 2012.
Source: Wikipedia
Keywords: Hash , SHA1 , SHA , Signature , Checksum , generator
