Brian Turek, Website, Sept 04, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

SHA - the Secure Hash Algorithm - is a type of cryptographic hash function which, per Wikipedia, "takes an arbitrary block of data and returns a fixed-size bit string, the hash value, such that a change to the data will (with very high probability) change the hash value." The algorithms are complicated, but the concept is intuitively illustrated in this Javascript implementation of various SHA hashes. SHA is widely used for web security, including password storage and authentication.

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