Travis H. writes:
> Excellent point.  When I wrote that I had strongly universal hashes in
> mind, like UMAC, where the hash is chosen from a family of functions
> based on some secret data shared by sender and recipient.  I
> mistakenly conflated them with ordinary hashes (which they are, once
> you pick one).  Thanks for catching that.

A point of terminology, strong universal hash functions are different
than what you are probably thinking of.

UMAC is a MAC, not a SU hash function.  It uses an almost-SU hash function
in its construction, but that's different.

Universal hashes and their variants (see
for a bibliography) are actually *weaker* than conventional hashes.
They can, in fact, be completely linear.  While you are right that the
hash is typically part of a parameterized family, once you pick one you
do not get an ordinary hash.  You are more likely to get an ordinary
polynomial that will not serve at all well as a crypto hash.

Hal Finney

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