Message-Digest Algorithm 5 (MD5) is a hash function that generates a hash value that is always the same from a given string or message. MD5 can be used for various applications such as checking download files or storing passwords.
The abbreviation MD5 stands for Message-Digest Algorithm 5, a cryptographic function that generates a hash value from any message or string of characters. In contrast to encryption, the function is not reversible and prevents the original character string from being determined from the hash value.
MD5 was developed by Ronald L. Rivest as a successor function to MD4, which was considered insecure, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. Typical applications of the Message Digest Algorithm 5 are checking download files or storing passwords. Today, MD5 is no longer considered sufficiently secure. Various attack methods are known, such as collision attacks, which allow output strings matching a given hash value to be generated with reasonable effort.