MD5 (Message Digest Algorithm 5) is a secure hash algorithm developed by R. Rivest in 1991 at RSA Data Security, Inc. The algorithm takes a message of arbitrary length and produces a 128-bit message digest.
MD5 is a popular hash algorithm and it is considered reasonable secure. However, some people have reported potential weaknesses in it. It is also reported that it is possible to build a special-purpose machine to find a plaintext matching given hash-value in a few weeks.
The MD5 algorithm is designed to be quite fast on 32-bit machines.
The MD5 algorithm is described in RFC1321 and in Bruce Schneier: Applied Cryptography, John Wiley & Sons, 1994.
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