Salted Hash Definition

KZero Staff
Oct 18, 2023

A salted hash is a specific type of hash where the cryptographic hashing function is applied to a string that has some random characters added—which are called “salt”. With salted hashing, the hash will look completely different from the one you would get by simply hashing the original string such as a password or some other type of data.

Salted hashing is the system that was used initially in the Unix /etc/password file. But how does the system know what the salt is? The answer is that you simply write it in the password itself.

To use a practical example, let’s imagine the password of the user is “white”, and it is associated with the salt “xy”, where the two characters “xy” have been chosen at random. The cryptographic hash of “whitexy” is calculated and not of “white”. Now let’s suppose that the result is “uhrdsa123”. At this point, the string “uhrdsa123” will be saved in the password file. When the user will try to connect, the system will take the last two characters of the encrypted password, attach them to the password I provided, compute the hash, reattach the final two characters, and check if it all matches. This ultimately provides the user with a greater level of security to protect passwords and data.

KZero Staff

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