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Short-input hashing

Example

#define SHORT_DATA ((const unsigned char *) "Sparkling water")
#define SHORT_DATA_LEN 15
unsigned char hash[crypto_shorthash_BYTES];
unsigned char key[crypto_shorthash_KEYBYTES];
crypto_shorthash_keygen(key);
crypto_shorthash(hash, SHORT_DATA, SHORT_DATA_LEN, key);

Purpose

Many applications and programming language implementations were recently found to be vulnerable to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks when a hash function with weak security guarantees, such as MurmurHash3, was used to construct a hash table.
To address this, Sodium provides the crypto_shorthash() function, which outputs short but unpredictable (without knowing the secret key) values suitable for picking a list in a hash table for a given key.
This function is optimized for short inputs.
The output of this function is only 64 bits. Therefore, it should not be considered collision-resistant.
Use cases:
  • Hash tables
  • Probabilistic data structures, such as Bloom filters
  • Integrity checking in interactive protocols

Usage

int crypto_shorthash(unsigned char *out, const unsigned char *in,
unsigned long long inlen, const unsigned char *k);
Compute a fixed-size (crypto_shorthash_BYTES bytes) fingerprint for the message in whose length is inlen bytes, using the key k.
The k is crypto_shorthash_KEYBYTES bytes and can be created using crypto_shorthash_keygen().
The same message hashed with the same key will always produce the same output.

Constants

  • crypto_shorthash_BYTES
  • crypto_shorthash_KEYBYTES

Algorithm details

SipHash-2-4

Notes

  • The key must remain secret. This function will not provide any mitigations against DoS attacks if the key is known from attackers.
  • When building hash tables, it is recommended to use a prime number for the table size. This ensures that all bits from the output of the hash function are being used. Mapping the range of the hash function to [0..N) can be done efficiently without modulo reduction.
  • libsodium >= 1.0.12 also implements a variant of SipHash with the same key size but a 128-bit output, accessible as crypto_shorthash_siphashx24().