SHA-3 To Be Announced Soon

Later this year, the National Security Agency will select the new Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 180-3, Secure Hash Standard or "SHA-3"

A hash algorithm converts a variable length message into a short, fixed length "message digest" that can be used within digital signatures, message authentication codes, and other secure uses. A competition for this new algorithm began in November 2007 within one year received sixty-four submissions. These submissions were then whittled down to fourteen, which were then vetted over the next year. On December 9, 2010 the five surviving finalists --BLAKE, Grøstl, JH, Keccak, and Skein--were announced. The applicants for these algorithms were given a chance to tweak their creations and in January 2012 were returned to public comment.

SHA-0, SHA-1, and SHA-2 are fundamentally different, but there are enough similarities between SHA-1 and Sha-2 that weaknesses in SHA-1 now threaten SHA-2. SHA-1 was cracked in 2005.