Is a Secure Hash Algorithm Block Cipher Cryptographic Hash Function published in 1995 and defined in RFC 3174 which generates a 160-bit Hash.

About SHA-1 Algorithm#

NSA developed SHA-1. SHA-1 is a part of Secure Hash Algorithm series and updated version of the forerunner original and short lived Secure Hash Algorithm algorithm.

The SHA-1 is similar to the earlier MD5 algorithm and uses a 512-bit block size with a "264 – 1" message size.

In SHA-1, if someone changes the part of a Hash value, it will produce a different hash value.

recent advancements that may indicate a possibility of weakness in the SHA-1 variant.

SHA-1 is Cryptographically Weak#

There have been recent advancements that may indicate a weakening of the SHA-1 variant, but nevertheless there is no evidence to suggest that the way it is used in most applications are under any danger, nor is there any concern about any of the SHA-2 encodings.

In 2005, Bruce Schneier, a cryptographer proved that SHA-1 could be broken 2000 times faster than a brute force attack.

In 2012, on base of Moore's law and Amazon web services, Jesse Walker said, SHA-1 collision would cost:

  • $2M in 2012
  • $700K in 2015
  • $173K in 2018
  • $43K in 2021.
The CA/Browser Forum and NIST found SHA-1 vulnerable to collision attack and hence, deemed as an Cryptographically Weak algorithm which has led to SHA-1 Deprecation.

SHA-1 standard was Deprecated for most cryptographic uses after 2010.

Because of these discoveries there has been a SHA-1 Deprecation movement.


The Hash value depends on how the certificate is signed. Certificate Authority verifies the hash value at the time of Certificate issuance.

The Hash value of the browser and the Hash value of the server should be matched. When hash values match, the server and the identity of a certificate are verified.

However, SHA-1 was not able to make accurate identification of both hash value and suspicious to collision attack.

In this case, the attacker might forge a Certificate and falsely verify the server’s identity.

How TLS/SSL uses SHA-1[1]#

data integrity#

TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 used HMAC-SHA1 for data integrity in nearly all Cipher Suites (a few old ones used HMAC-MD5 but they have mostly fallen by the wayside already). 1.2 adds some new Cipher Suites that use HMAC-SHA2 (SHA256 or SHA384) and some new Cipher Suites that use AEAD which combines integrity into the encryption (specifically AES or some others with GCM, AES with CCM, and CHACHA20-POLY1305; in practice only AES-GCM and ChaCha are common).

The HMAC construction blocks collision attacks like the new one for SHA-1. Cipher Suites using HMAC-SHA1 remain as secure now as they were before, and as secure as HMAC-SHA2 -- which is, not entirely, because there already were and still are attacks unrelated to the hash. Specifically, all HMAC Cipher Suites either use RC4, which is badly weakened and now prohibited from all versions of TLS, or CBC-mode ciphers with MAC-then-encrypt, which have been subject to a series of padding-oracle attacks -- and in TLS 1.0 also a known-IV attack (BEAST). The fix to these attacks is to use AEAD Cipher Suites (with neither HMAC-SHA1 nor HMAC-SHA2), which requires TLS 1.2.

"SHAttered" makes no difference. You should already have preferred TLS 1.2 with AEAD not HMAC-SHA1 OR HMAC-SHA2, and you should still.

PRF and key derivation#

TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 used a combination of double-HMAC-MD5 and double-HMAC-SHA1 for the PRF used in the handshake for key derivation and Finished;

TLS 1.2 uses double-HMAC-SHA2. As above HMAC protects against the collision attack, plus the key derivation and Finished data are substantially uncontrollable by an attacker anyway. No difference.


TLS, including TLS 1.2, usually (though not quite always) relies on certificates and their Digital Signatures, and collision attack can endanger Certificate Signatures in at least some cases.

This was true for MD5 with the 'rogue' attack a decade ago, and resulted in fairly rapid retirement of MD5 certificates. The community has recognized for years that SHA-1 certificates were similarly at risk: CAs have been forbidden to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since at least 2013, depending which authority you go by, and some (most?) browsers, some other clients and servers, and many tools (notably SSLLabs widely used tester) have been warning more or less noisily and intrusively about SHA-1-signed certificates since [2014] (SHA-1 Deprecation); now, as the shattered website notes, some (many?) will soon start rejecting these certificates.

If you are still using SHA-1-signed certificates; stop. This applies to all versions of TLS and also non-SSL/TLS uses of certificates such as email encryption and code signing.

More Information#

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« This page (revision-15) was last changed on 24-Feb-2017 10:40 by jim