HMAC: Keyed-Hashing for Message Authentication (RFC2104)
Original Publication Date: 1997-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
H. Krawczyk: AUTHOR [+3]
This document describes HMAC, a mechanism for message authentication using cryptographic hash functions. HMAC can be used with any iterative cryptographic hash function, e.g., MD5, SHA-1, in combination with a secret shared key. The cryptographic strength of HMAC depends on the properties of the underlying hash function.
Network Working Group H. Krawczyk
Request for Comments: 2104 IBM
Category: Informational M. Bellare
HMAC: Keyed-Hashing for Message Authentication
Status of This Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
This document describes HMAC, a mechanism for message authentication
using cryptographic hash functions. HMAC can be used with any
iterative cryptographic hash function, e.g., MD5, SHA-1, in
combination with a secret shared key. The cryptographic strength of
HMAC depends on the properties of the underlying hash function.
Providing a way to check the integrity of information transmitted
over or stored in an unreliable medium is a prime necessity in the
world of open computing and communications. Mechanisms that provide
such integrity check based on a secret key are usually called
"message authentication codes" (MAC). Typically, message
authentication codes are used between two parties that share a secret
key in order to validate information transmitted between these
parties. In this document we present such a MAC mechanism based on
cryptographic hash functions. This mechanism, called HMAC, is based
on work by the authors [BCK1] where the construction is presented and
cryptographically analyzed. We refer to that work for the details on
the rationale and security analysis of HMAC, and its comparison to
other keyed-hash methods.
HMAC can be used in combination with any iterated cryptographic hash
function. MD5 and SHA-1 are examples of such hash functions. HMAC
also uses a secret key for calculation and verification of the
message authentication values. The main goals behind this
* To use, without modifications, available hash functions.
In particular, hash functions that perform well in software,
and for which code is freely and widely available.
* To preserve the original performance of the hash function without
incurring a significant degradation.
* To use and handle keys in a simple way.
* To have a well understood cryptographic analysis of the strength of
the authentication mechanism based on reasonable assumptions on the
underlying hash function.
* To allow for easy replaceability of the underlying hash function in
case that faster or more secure hash functions are found or
This document specifies HMAC using a generic cryptographic hash
function (denoted by H). Specific instanti...