Note that MACs don’t necessarily need to use a hash function, but a hash can be used as the “signing” mechanism. One of them is used for message authentication while the other is not. And In cryptography, a hash-based message authentication code (HMAC) is a specific construction for calculating a message authentication code (MAC) involving a cryptographic hash function in combination with a secret key. As said by ircmaxell, hash or hash_hmac are not better for storing passwords with SHA-512. Regards, SHA1-96 was really only an option designed to fix some issues with IPsec AH. Explanation. In cryptography, a message authentication code (MAC), sometimes known as a tag, is a short piece of information used to authenticate a message—in other words, to confirm that the message came from the stated sender (its authenticity) and has not been changed. However, it so happens that HMAC is built over hash functions, and can be considered as a "keyed hash" -- a hash function with a key.A key is not a salt (keys are secret, salts are not). It is a powerful tool. A MAC does not encrypt the message so the message is in plain text. A good cryptographic hash function provides one important property: collision resistance. None of these. In this case, binary is produced, as is the case with Chris's javascript. The main difference is that an HMAC uses two rounds of hashing instead of one (or none). This answer from Chris is good if you are porting hash_hmac with the last parameter being true. Sara: hash_hmac produces a hex digest by default – keyvan Jun 9 '17 at 3:55. add a comment | 12. Hash Based Message Authentication Code, HMAC, is an essential piece for authenticating data. All HMACs are MACs but not all MACs are HMACs. As Chris Smith notes in the comments, HMAC is a specific MAC algorithm (or, rather, a method for constructing a MAC algorithm out of a cryptographic hash function).Thus, HMAC can be used for any application that requires a MAC algorithm. Then HMAC is defined as: HASH(Key XOR opad, HASH(Key XOR ipad, text)) or, in detail from the RFC, (Pretext: The definition of HMAC requires a cryptographic hash function, which we denote by H, and a secret key K. We assume H to be a cryptographic hash function where data is hashed by iterating a basic compression function on blocks of data. Usually this involves applying a hash function one or more times to some sort of combination of the shared secret and the message. One of them provides message integrity while other does not. An HMAC is a hash-based message authentication code. An HMAC is a kind of MAC. So, at the end of the day, use the mainstream SHA1, as long as the other side (like your SSH client) supports it as well. SHA1-96 is the same thing as SHA1, both compute a 160 bit hash, it's just that SHA1-96 truncates and embeds a 96-bit hash value in the packet. Explore the world of cryptographic technology, as we explain MAC vs HMAC and how each works. An HMAC also provides collision resistance. But it also provides unforgeability. What is the key difference between HMAC and MAC? HMAC usually refers the the algorithm documented in RFC 2104 or FIPS-198. In order to generate an HMAC, one requires a key. It should be impractical to find two messages that result in the same digest. Explore the benefits of HMAC explained and MAC vs HMAC today with Cardinal Peak. HMAC is a Message Authentication Code, which is meant for verifying integrity.This is a totally different kind of beast. TL;DR, an HMAC is a keyed hash of data. One of them is a general term while the other is a specific form of it. HMAC – Hash-Based Message Authentication Code. 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