Call:   (888) 458-3222

What is an MD5 Calculation?

 

A digital fingerprint that speaks to the uniqueness of an individual file’s contents, regardless of file renaming.

 

It is created using a mathematical algorithm. When an MD5 hash is created, the algorithm is applied against the contents of the file. The Message Digest 5 (MD5) was developed in 1991 and generates a 128-bit hash value. Another commonly used hash algorithm is Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) developed in 1995 by the US Government . SHA  generates a 160-bit hash value.

 

If the file is renamed, the MD5 hash value remains constant. It is this quality that allows for searching for deliberate renaming of files.

 

Example:

 

Contacts.xls could be changed to Mom.jpg.  If the contents of the file had remained unchanged, the hash value aids the forensics examiner in finding the file and the fact that it had been renamed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Return to FAQ

Next Question: What is an On-Line Repository?

 

 

 

Center for Computer Forensics

21800 Melrose Ave

Suite 1

Southfield, MI 48075

 

info@computer-forensics.net

This website is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. The site is merely a starting point to learn about the topics listed. While we attempt to maintain current, complete and accurate information we accept no responsibility for errors or omissions.