What is Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2)?
The Secure Hash Algorithm 2 (SHA-2) is an encryption algorithm for computer security. It was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA) in collaboration with the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) as an extension of the SHA-1 algorithm. SHA-2 has six different variants, which differ in proportion to the bit size used to encrypt data.
The SHA-2 family of hash functions includes:
The number in each variant represents the bit values. SHA-2 offers better collision avoidance, ie the same input data always have a different hash value. SHA-2 uses 64 to 80 rounds of cryptographic operations and is widely used to validate and sign digital security certificates and documents.