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MD4 is a message digest algorithm (the fourth in a series) designed by Professor Ronald Rivest of MIT in 1990. It implements a cryptographic hash function for use in message integrity checks. The digest length is 128 bits. The algorithm has influenced later designs, such as the MD5, SHA and RIPEMD algorithms.
Weaknesses in MD4 were demonstrated by Den Boer and Bosselaers in a paper published in 1991. Many of the subsequent message digest designs based on it remain secure, in the sense that no effective attack has been published against them.
The 128-bit (16-byte) MD4 hashes (also termed message digests) are typically represented as 32-digit hexadecimal numbers. The following demonstrates a 43-byte ASCII input and the corresponding MD4 hash:
- MD4("The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog") = 1bee69a46ba811185c194762abaeae90
Even a small change in the message will (with overwhelming probability) result in a completely different hash, e.g. changing d to c:
- MD4("The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy cog") = b86e130ce7028da59e672d56ad0113df
The hash of the zero-length string is:
- MD4("") = 31d6cfe0d16ae931b73c59d7e0c089c0
- Hans Dobbertin, 1998. Cryptanalysis of MD4. J. Cryptology 11(4): 253–271
- Hans Dobbertin: Cryptanalysis of MD4. Fast Software Encryption 1996: 53–69
- Description of MD4 by Ron Rivest in RFC 1320
- An Attack on the Last Two Rounds of MD4
- Jacksum (a program with various message verification functions, including MD4)
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