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    Crypt::SaltedHash - Perl interface to functions that assist in working
    with salted hashes.

            use Crypt::SaltedHash;

            my $csh = Crypt::SaltedHash->new(algorithm => 'SHA-1');

            my $salted = $csh->generate;
            my $valid = Crypt::SaltedHash->validate($salted, 'secret');

    The "Crypt::SaltedHash" module provides an object oriented interface to
    create salted (or seeded) hashes of clear text data. The original
    formalization of this concept comes from RFC-3112 and is extended by the
    use of different digital agorithms.

  Setting the data
    The process starts with 2 elements of data:

    *   a clear text string (this could represent a password for instance).

    *   the salt, a random seed of data. This is the value used to augment a
        hash in order to ensure that 2 hashes of identical data yield
        different output.

    For the purposes of this abstract we will analyze the steps within code
    that perform the necessary actions to achieve the endresult hashes.
    Cryptographers call this hash a digest. We will not however go into an
    explanation of a one-way encryption scheme. Readers of this abstract are
    encouraged to get information on that subject by their own.

    Theoretically, an implementation of a one-way function as an algorithm
    takes input, and provides output, that are both in binary form;
    realistically though digests are typically encoded and stored in a
    database or in a flat text or XML file. Take slappasswd5 for instance,
    it performs the exact functionality described above. We will use it as a
    black box compiled piece of code for our analysis.

    In pseudocode we generate a salted hash as follows:

        Get the source string and salt as separate binary objects
        Concatenate the 2 binary values
        Hash the concatenation into SaltedPasswordHash
        Base64Encode(concat(SaltedPasswordHash, Salt))

    We take a clear text string and hash this into a binary object
    representing the hashed value of the clear text string plus the random
    salt. Then we have the Salt value, which are typically 4 bytes of purely
    random binary data represented as hexadecimal notation (Base16 as 8

    Using SHA-1 as the hashing algorithm, SaltedPasswordHash is of length 20
    (bytes) in raw binary form (40 bytes if we look at it in hex). Salt is
    then 4 bytes in raw binary form. The SHA-1 algorithm generates a 160 bit
    hash string. Consider that 8 bits = 1 byte. So 160 bits = 20 bytes,
    which is exactly what the algorithm gives us.

    The Base64 encoding of the binary result looks like:


    Take note here that the final output is a 32-byte string of data. The
    Base64 encoding process uses bit shifting, masking, and padding as per

    A couple of examples of salted hashes using on the same exact clear-text

        slappasswd -s testing123

        slappasswd -s testing123

        slappasswd -s testing123

        slappasswd -s testing123

    4 runs of slappasswd against the same clear text string each yielded
    unique endresult hashes. The random salt is generated silently and never
    made visible.

  Extracting the data
    One of the keys to note is that the salt is dealt with twice in the
    process. It is used once for the actual application of randomness to the
    given clear text string, and then it is stored within the final output
    as purely Base64 encoded data. In order to perform an authentication
    query for instance, we must break apart the concatenation that was
    created for storage of the data. We accomplish this by splitting up the
    binary data we get after Base64 decoding the stored hash.

    In pseudocode we would perform the extraction and verification
    operations as such:

        Strip the hash identifier from the Digest
        Base64Decode(Digest, 20)
        Split Digest into 2 byte arrays, one for bytes 0 – 20(pwhash), one for bytes 21 – 32 (salt)
        Get the target string and salt as separate binary object
        Concatenate the 2 binary values
        SHA hash the concatenation into targetPasswordHash
        Compare targetPasswordHash with pwhash
        Return corresponding Boolean value

    Our job is to split the original digest up into 2 distinct byte arrays,
    one of the left 20 (0 - 20 including the null terminator) bytes and the
    other for the rest of the data. The left 0 – 20 bytes will represent the
    salted binary value we will use for a byte-by-byte data match against
    the new clear text presented for verification. The string presented for
    verification will have to be salted as well. The rest of the bytes (21 –
    32) represent the random salt which when decoded will show the exact hex
    characters that make up the once randomly generated seed.

    We are now ready to verify some data. Let's start with the 4 hashes
    presented earlier. We will run them through our code to extract the
    random salt and then using that verify the clear text string hashed by
    slappasswd. First, let's do a verification test with an erroneous
    password; this should fail the matching test:

        {SSHA}72uhy5xc1AWOLwmNcXALHBSzp8xt4giL Test123
        Hash extracted (in hex): ef6ba1cb9c5cd4058e2f098d71700b1c14b3a7cc
        Salt extracted (in hex): 6de2088b
        Hash length is: 20 Salt length is: 4
        Hash presented in hex: 256bc48def0ce04b0af90dfd2808c42588bf9542
        Hashes DON'T match: Test123

    The match failure test was successful as expected. Now let's use known
    valid data through the same exact code:

        {SSHA}72uhy5xc1AWOLwmNcXALHBSzp8xt4giL testing123
        Hash extracted (in hex): ef6ba1cb9c5cd4058e2f098d71700b1c14b3a7cc
        Salt extracted (in hex): 6de2088b
        Hash length is: 20 Salt length is: 4
        Hash presented in hex: ef6ba1cb9c5cd4058e2f098d71700b1c14b3a7cc
        Hashes match: testing123

    The process used for salted passwords should now be clear. We see that
    salting hashed data does indeed add another layer of security to the
    clear text one-way hashing process. But we also see that salted hashes
    should also be protected just as if the data was in clear text form. Now
    that we have seen salted hashes actually work you should also realize
    that in code it is possible to extract salt values and use them for
    various purposes. Obviously the usage can be on either side of the
    colored hat line, but the data is there.

    new( [%options] )
        Returns a new Crypt::SaltedHash object. Possible keys for *%options*

        *   *algorithm*: It's also possible to use common string
            representations of the algorithm (e.g. "sha256", "SHA-384"). If
            the argument is missing, SHA-1 will be used by default.

        *   *salt*: You can specify your on salt. You can either specify it
            as a sequence of charactres or as a hex encoded string of the
            form "HEX{...}". If the argument is missing, a random seed is
            provided for you (recommended).

        *   *salt_len*: By default, the module assumes a salt length of 4
            bytes (or 8, if it is encoded in hex). If you choose a different
            length, you have to tell the *validate* function how long your
            seed was.

    add( $data, ... )
        Logically joins the arguments into a single string, and uses it to
        update the current digest state. For more details see Digest.

        Returns the salt in binary form.

        Returns the salt in hexadecimal form ('HEX{...}')

        Generates the seeded hash. Uses the *clone*-method of Digest before
        actually performing the digest calculation, so adding more cleardata
        after a call of *generate* to an instance of *Crypt::SaltedHash* has
        the same effect as adding the data before the call of *generate*.

    validate( $hasheddata, $cleardata, [$salt_len] )
        Validates a hasheddata previously generated against cleardata.
        *$salt_len* defaults to 4 if not set. Returns 1 if the validation is
        successful, 0 otherwise.

        Returns a handle to Digest object.

    *none yet.*

    Digest, MIME::Base64

    Sascha Kiefer,

    The author is particularly grateful to Andres Andreu for his article:
    Salted hashes demystified - A Primer

    Copyright (C) 2005 Sascha Kiefer

    This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it
    under the same terms as Perl itself.