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You can think of a cryptographic hash as a fingerprint. A person will produce the same fingerprint of her left thumb every time it’s taken, but it’s extremely hard to find another person with the same left thumb fingerprint. The fingerprint doesn’t disclose any information about the person other than that particular fingerprint. You can’t know what math skills or eye color the person has by looking at this fingerprint.
Digital information also has fingerprints. This fingerprint is called a cryptographic hash. To create a cryptographic hash of a file, you send the file into a computer program called a cryptographic hash function. Suppose you want to create a cryptographic hash—a fingerprint—of your favorite