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    Computing Cryptographic Hashes for Cyclic Dependencies

    Jasper Van der Jeugt

    "Much more than encryption algorithms, one-way hash functions are the workhorses of modern cryptography." —Bruce Schneier Cryptographic hashes (or one-way hash functions) allow us to compute a digest that uniquely identifies a resource. If we make a small change anywhere in a resource, its digest also changes—drastically, because of the Avalanche effect. Figure 1. Notice the small, single letter change in the input resource in the third row and the corresponding, drastic changes to its digest. Cf. citation. This characteristic makes the hashes very practical for detecting changes in applications that deal with dependency trees. If we include the cryptographic hashes of the dependencies of a resource in the resource's own cryptographic hash, we have a cheap way to check if a...

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