SHA-1 Is Dead, but Not Quite Yet

Even though SHA-1 has been considered deprecated for many years now, it is still widely used. About a month ago, it was broken in practice, rendering it useless as a cryptographic hash function. At this point, most people will probably stop using it for security related purposes. An insecure “secure hash algorithm” is basically useless, isn’t it?

Well, I don’t think so. Obviously, it’s a very bad idea to rely on SHA-1 for security. However, the algorithm still converts input into a short binary or hex string of fixed length, which might be useful for some fun projects. You could map pretty much anything to a SHA-1 hash: color values, coordinates, musical notes, words,… – you get the idea.

Actually, that sounds like a great idea for a mini project: I will generate (almost) unique identicons with SHA-1 hashes. More stuff to blog about, yay!


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