What is SHA-1?
In cryptography, SHA-1 is a cryptographic hash function designed by the United States National Security Agency and is a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard published by the United States NIST. SHA-1 produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value. A SHA-1 hash value is typically rendered as a hexadecimal number, 40 digits long.
SHA stands for "secure hash algorithm". The four SHA algorithms are structured differently and are named SHA-0, SHA-1, SHA-2, and SHA-3. SHA-0 is the original version of the 160-bit hash function published in 1993 under the name "SHA": it was not adopted by many applications. Published in 1995, SHA-1 is very similar to SHA-0, but alters the original SHA hash specification to correct alleged weaknesses. SHA-2, published in 2001, is significantly different from the SHA-1 hash function. SHA-1 is the most widely used of the existing SHA hash functions, and is employed in several widely used applications and protocols.