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Security, Software, Technology

WinHasher 1.6

February 8th, 2010 by Jeff | Dump Core

Wow! A non-Twitter digest post! Amazing!

This is a quickie to let you guys now I’ve just released WinHasher 1.6. This is a minor release containing a few cosmetic and minor functional changes, so there’s no need to upgrade unless the features or bug fixes listed below seem worth the effort.

  • Added a progress indication message for all the console applications. Previously, these programs simply went off into lala land when you kicked them off, kind of like the original GUI version did, giving you no indication how far along things have come.  Now the program displays what it’s doing (“Computing SHA-1 of…”) and then a percentage complete as it works.  Once complete, it displays the resulting hash as it did before. I thought about making the progress indicator “graphical” with little periods, hyphens, or equal signs, but the percentage was a lot easier to do (and I’m lazy).
  • Added a “case kludge” for comparing computed hashes against reference hashes (i.e. digests copied from a website). Typically, most sites will display hashes as a lower-case hexadecimal string, which is why I made that the default. However, I and other users have run into occasions where a download site presents the hash as upper-case hexadecimal. Unfortunately, if you paste this value into the comparison field on either the main WinHasher form or the “Send To” result dialog, the comparison will fail simply because the case does not match, even if the actual hash values do. Technically, you can tweak the command line of the “Send To” shortcut or change the output type on the main form, but either can be a pain when you know what you expect to see. So I’ve added a little bit of code that looks at what the comparison expects (i.e. “I’m looking for a lower-case hex string”) and adjusts the case of the comparison field if necessary. This means lower-case hex and Bubble Babble comparisons are forced to lower-case, while upper-case hex is forced to upper-case, no matter what case the original pasted-in string was. In the case of Base64, which includes mixed case characters, the comparison string is compared unaltered. After any case adjustment, the hash comparison occurs as previously designed.
  • Fixed a bug that wasn’t displaying the icon correctly within the application itself. Oopsy.

For those who don’t know, WinHasher is a cryptographic hash generator for Microsoft .NET. It is roughly analogous to digest programs on other platforms (such as “openssl dgst” from OpenSSL) but designed for Windows and other .NET platforms. It lets you verify the integrity of downloads and determine whether changes have been made to files. It does NOT guarantee the authenticity of a file; for that, use cryptographic signatures such those produced by PGP or GnuPG. It also lets you create hashes of arbitrary text, which is handy for generating strong “passwords”, although I’m working on a different project that will do a much better job of this particular task. [Looks around shifty-eyed.]

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