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Microsoft Discontinues Support For SHA-1

By Vigilize | Monday, March 4, 2019 - Leave a Comment

Known to be vulnerable since 2005, the algorithm will be phased out over the next several months…


An article review.


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Things can move slowly in the world of cryptography, and for evidence of that one needs to look no further than SHA-1–the hash algorithm introduced in 1995, found to be vulnerable to attack in 2005 and yet is still in use today in many critical applications.

By the end of the year however there will be fewer users of SHA-1 as Microsoft plans to discontinue its use in signing updates, according to a new article submitted by our own Chris Dietrich. The updates will be rolled out to all currently supported Windows desktop and server versions between now and September, at which point SHA-1 will be dropped entirely.

While it has been known SHA-1 is theoretically vulnerable to attack for a long time, such attacks remain highly unlikely, with the few successful attempts involving resources that are out of the reach of all but some major corporations and government agencies. This likely explains why SHA-1 remains in use for things such as validating credit card transactions and signing software updates, but even those uses are being phased out: US Federal agencies have been banned from using the algorithm since 2010, and digital certificate issuers have not been allowed to use it since 2016.

With more computing power coming into the reach of smaller organizations and individuals, the need to move away from SHA-1 will only become more urgent. Because while the last documented attack took the resources of an organization like Google, the next could be achieved by organized crime, or an enemy state.


Original Article by Sergiu Gatlan writing for Bleeping Computer.


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