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CodeHS Glossary

Hash Functions or Hashing General

The word hashing literally means to scramble. Hashing changes a message into an unreadable string of text for the purpose of verifying the message’s contents, but not hiding the message itself. It must be easy to compute the output (the digest) for any input, but hard to compute the input for any output. A hash function takes an input string of arbitrary length and produces a fixed- size, short output called a digest . It’s always the same length no matter how big the input is AND the output is always the same hash for any given input. Unlike symmetric and asymmetric algorithms, there are no “keys” in hashing functions.