Encryption and hashing have served as the foundation for new security modules, among other network security developments. One of the most used hash algorithms is the Secure Hash Algorithm(SHA) with a digest size of 256 bits, or SHA 256. Although there are numerous variations, SHA 256 has been the most often used in practical applications.
SHA 256 is a part of the SHA 2 family of algorithms, where SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. It was a joint effort between the NSA and NIST to introduce a successor to the weaker SHA 1 family. SHA2 was published in 2001 and has been effective ever since.
The hash function generates the same output hash for the same input string. This means that, you can use this string to validate files or text or anything when you pass it across the network or even otherwise. SHA256 can act as a stamp or for checking if the data is valid or not.
The 256 in the name SHA256 refers to the final hash digest value, meaning that regardless of the amount of plaintext or cleartext, the hash value will always be 256 bits.
For example -
|Input String||Output Hash|
|computer science is amazing! I love it.||a3f2b30d5d6ef9006dd09741aa90d595d8a90666f3fc3c3ae4bf1c1e9a8e3042|
SHA256 hash of a String in Python
SHA256 hash can be created using the python's default module
hashlib. There are many more hash functions defined in the
The process of creating an SHA256 hash in python is very simple. First import hashlib, then encode your string that you want to hash i.e., converts the string into the byte equivalent using encode(), then pass it through the
hashlib.sha256() function. We print the
hexdigest value of the hash
m, which is the hexadecimal equivalent encoded string.
Working code example-
import hashlib text = 'Hello!' m = hashlib.sha256(text.encode('UTF-8')) print(m.hexdigest())
Output of the above code-
The value you see here
334d016f755cd6dc58c53a86e183882f8ec14f52fb05345887c8a5edd42c87b7 is the SHA256 hash of the string
The functions used in the above code-
- encode() : Converts the string into bytes to be acceptable by hash function.
- hexdigest() : Returns the encoded data in hexadecimal format.
You can also update the value of the string and check it as well if needed. This can be used to strengthen the hash logic in your workflow where you can append strings in certain order and see if your hash matched the source hash.
import hashlib text = 'Hello!' m = hashlib.sha256() print(m.hexdigest()) m.update(b"Have Fun!") print(m.hexdigest()) m.update(text.encode('UTF-8')) print(m.hexdigest())
Output of the above code-
As you see, the SHA256 hash of a string using Python is as simple as this code.
A more complex hash can be created in SHA 2 family using the SHA-512 algorithm in python for a file.
Let me summarize creating a hash in python, so that it becomes easy for you to refer-
- Create MD5 in python for String, MD5 in python for File
- Create SHA-256 in python for String, SHA-256 in python for File
- Create SHA-512 in python for String, SHA-512 in python for File
- Create SHA3-256 in python for String, SHA3-256 in python for File
- Create SHA3-512 in python for String, SHA3-512 in python for File
I'm glad that you found the content useful. Happy Coding.