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Digital Forensics Importance of Hash Values Essay

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Hash Values in Digital Forensics


Hash values denote condensed representations of digitized or binary content within digital material; however, they offer no additional information pertaining to the contents of any material interpretable by an individual. Moreover, the hash function is algorithms that convert variable-sized text quantities into hash values (which are fixed-sized outputs). Also called “cryptographic hash functions,” they facilitate the development of digital signatures, short textual condensations, and hash tables for the purpose of analysis (Fang et al., 2011; Kumar et al., 2012). In this paper, hash functions and their significance will be addressed.


H (hash function) represents a transformation taking variable-sized input „m? and returning fixed-sized strings (h or hash value; i.e., h = H (m)) (Kumar et al., 2012). The hash functions possessing only the above property can be put to various broad computational uses; however, when applied to cryptography, they normally possess a few extra properties.

The fundamental prerequisites for any cryptographic hash function (H) are as follows:

· Any-length input,

· Fixed-length output,

· H(x) can be computed fairly easily for all x, and

· H(x) is 1-way and collision-free.

A one-way hash function means the function cannot be easily inverted, i.e., given any h (i.e., hash value), it is not computationally feasible to find an input x in such a way that H(x) = h. further, if, given input x, finding yx becomes computationally infeasible such that H(x) = H(y), then H represents a weakly collision-free hash function (Kumar et al., 2012; Rasjid et al., 2017). On the other hand, a strongly collision-free H is a hash function for which finding messages x & y such that H(x) = H(y) isn’t computationally feasible.

Hash values are a concise representation of the longer document or message they were calculated from; a single message digest may be considered a larger document’s "digital fingerprint." Possibly the key function of cryptographic hash functions is providing digital signatures. As hash functions often work more quickly as compared to digital signature algorithms, digital signatures are typically computed to certain documents through working out the document hash value’s signature that is smaller than the actual document (Kumar et al., 2012). In addition, digests may be publicly available without having to reveal the content matter of the actual document it is taken from. This proves crucial within the…

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…value is placed. A database might have hash values of child porn files along with hash values of other files with known, non-applicable content (Kaya & Eris, 2017). This technique renders it feasible and easy to identify relevant files, in addition to excluding irrelevant ones right at the start of the investigation. As it is highly unlikely that this technique will lead to the presentation of two distinct files with identical hash values, the likelihood of wrong classifications may be deemed to be negligible (nearly 0). All hash algorithms that Biometrics and Digital investigators employ are mathematically accounted for, for demonstrating the reason for zero or negligible misclassification risks.


Integrity verification entails checking that content or copies of the content received have incurred no defects in the course of transfer from or to Biometrics and Digital analysts, and in the course of the investigation itself. An identical check is, if possible, carried out at the time of digital content seizures. Digital forensic tools are commonly utilized for computing digital evidence’s hash values. SHA and MD5 hash functions are employed here for calculations and for verifying that datasets aren’t modified on account of the application of diverse evidence gathering…

Sample Source(s) Used


Fang, J., Jiang, Z. L., Yiu, S. M., & Hui, L. C. (2011). An efficient scheme for hard disk integrity check-in digital forensics by hashing with combinatorial group testing. International Journal of Digital Content Technology and its Applications.

Kaya, M., & Eris, M. (2017). Hash-based block matching for digital evidence image files from forensic software tools. World Academy of Science, Engineering, and Technology, International Journal of Computer, Electrical, Automation, Control and Information Engineering, 11(10), 1068-1071.

Kumar, K., Sofat, S., Jain, S. K., & Aggarwal, N. (2012). SIGNIFICANCE of hash value generation in digital forensic: A case study. International Journal of Engineering Research and Development, 2(5), 64-70.

Netherlands Forensic Institute, (2018a). Technical Supplement Forensic Use of Hash Values and Associated Hash Algorithms. Ministry of Justice and security.

Rasjid, Z. E., Soewito, B., Witjaksono, G., & Abdurachman, E. (2017). A review of collisions in cryptographic hash function used in digital forensic tools. Procedia computer science, 116, 381-392.

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