New King of Security Algorithms Crowned

A new cryptographic hash algorithm, proclaimed the winner of a five-year competition in October, is literally a solution in search of a problem.

Basically, cryptographic hash algorithms are a way to ensure information security. They are typically used in digital signatures and in establishing connections with secure websites. Data that is run through a hash algorithm produces a shorter string of bits; this string acts as a kind of digest of the data. Any change to the data changes the bit string. The resulting string, therefore, acts as a fingerprint of the data, guaranteeing that no one has tampered with it. 
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