A practical example how broken MD5 really is

November 5, 2014

Nat McHugh did a wonderful post with two completely different monochrome pictures which have the same MD5 sum. Take a look! MD5 as a secure hash function should provide the properties shown in this Wikipedia article. But as Nat says in his own words:

The two images above clearly demonstrate that MD5 lacks the final property (Collision resistance). MD5 is broken as a cryptographic hash function.

I believe he is correct, nothing shows better how broken MD5 is than two  images with the same MD5 sum and that really nobody should use it anymore for security reasons. Using it for checking file corruption during transfer is Ok, but the hash for ISO files or packages for Linux Distributions you download should not be checked with MD5. CPU power is cheap nowadays. The big ones like Ubuntu, Debian and CentOS already have changed to provide also SHA1 and SHA256 hashes for all the files. OpenSuse provides MD5 and SHA1 … better would be SHA256 too. Anyway use SHA256 were possible to verify your downloads!!



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