Secure hash function (one-way hash function) is not only used in message authentication but in digit signatures (Stallings & Brown, 2008, p. 54).

Write a 2–3 page paper that answers the following questions:
•What is the purpose of the hash function?
•How is it useful to message authentication?
•What are the 7 main characteristics that are needed in a secure hash function?
•How is a hash function considered a weak or strong function?

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As general behavior, a hash function is designed to compresses inputs of random sizes into outputs of fixed sizes. In the context of cryptography, the hash functions are considered secure if cannot be inverted. This means it is virtually impossible to reconstruct the input if the output is known.
At the same time it must be understood the distinction between hash function and cryptographic hash function (although in many books and papers are used interchangeably). On short, a simple hash function attempts to avoid collisions for certain inputs which are identified as being malicious....
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