System.Security.Cryptography.HashAlgorithm Class

Represents the base class from which all implementations of cryptographic hash algorithms must derive.

See Also: HashAlgorithm Members

[System.Runtime.InteropServices.ComVisible(true)]

public abstract class**HashAlgorithm** : ICryptoTransform

public abstract class

Hash functions are fundamental to modern cryptography. These functions map binary strings of an arbitrary length to small binary strings of a fixed length, known as hash values. A cryptographic hash function has the property that it is computationally infeasible to find two distinct inputs that hash to the same value. Hash functions are commonly used with digital signatures and for data integrity.

The hash is used as a unique value of fixed size representing a large amount of data. Hashes of two sets of data should match if the corresponding data also matches. Small changes to the data result in large unpredictable changes in the hash.