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Software, Technology

WinHasher 1.3

June 30th, 2008 by Jeff | Dump Core

For both of you out there who care, WinHasher has now been bumped to version 1.3. The changes are very minor, so there’s no need to upgrade unless you find the following two new features useful:

  • There’s now a drop-down box to choose between hexadecimal output and Base64 (RFC 2045, although without line wrapping). I personally like using Base64 because it’s more compact than hex and more “obscure-looking”; even non-coders are familiar with hex, seeing it in error messages all the time, but are less familiar with Base64, which looks more like “random noise”. The default output is still hex, so you only need to switch modes if you really find Base64 more useful.
  • There’s now a tab in the GUI to hash arbitrary text. I added this feature because there was an extension to Firefox that I used all the time to do this—which I used frequently to generate “random-looking” passwords by hashing simpler plain text and using the hash as the “real” password—but the extension hasn’t been updated in forever and is no longer working in Firefox 3. So to keep myself from getting locked out of the accounts where I used hashed passwords, I threw this feature in WinHasher. The backbone was already there, so all that needed to be added was a GUI.  There’s also an encoding drop-down box that lets you change the text encoding if you so desire/need. To be honest, I don’t think it’s really necessary because I think .NET uses Unicode internally all the time, but it does have a nice side-effect: if you enter text in one encoding and change the encoding setting to something radically different (say you enter Western European Windows text but change the encoding to IBM EBCDIC Japanese), you’ll end up with a very different hash than you would have had if you used the “right” encoding. This isn’t encryption by any means as it could be easily reverse engineered if you knew what encodings were used, but it does significantly scramble things to the point that it makes it much harder to figure out exactly what you did.

I had originally started adding support for HMAC signed hashes but have abandoned that for now. If there’s anyone out there who might actually find that useful, drop me a line and I’ll revisit the code to see what I might be able to add. Downloads can be found at the first link above.

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