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Term: MD5 (checksum)

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Term: MD5 (checksum)

The MD5 hash algorithm is a commonly used function for validating data integrity. The name is derived from Message-Digest algorithm 5. The algorithm is applied against the source data (typically a file and its content) in order to generate a unique, 128-bit hash value (often called a checksum, although strictly speaking it is not one). One approach for data-integrity verification is to generate an MD5 hash when the content is created or when it is shipped and, later, to generate another hash after the content has been received or after a period of storage. The hash values are compared and, if they match, this indicates that the data is intact and has not been altered.
Wikipedia article on MD5
See also:
Hash algorithm