Salvaging Merkle-Damgard for Practical Applications

@inproceedings{Dodis2009SalvagingMF,
  title={Salvaging Merkle-Damgard for Practical Applications},
  author={Yevgeniy Dodis and Thomas Ristenpart and Thomas Shrimpton},
  booktitle={IACR Cryptology ePrint Archive},
  year={2009}
}
Many cryptographic applications of hash functions are analyzed in the random oracle model. Unfortunately, most concrete hash functions, including the SHA family, use the iterative (strengthened) Merkle-Damgård transform applied to a corresponding compression function. Moreover, it is well known that the resulting “structured” hash function cannot be generically used as a random oracle, even if the compression function is assumed to be ideal. This leaves a large disconnect between theory and… CONTINUE READING
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