The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will soon reveal a new hash algorithm that will become SHA-3. While the new hash function will bring some improvements compared to its predecessor, SHA-2, experts believe that it’s not really needed, at least not yet.
According to security guru Bruce Schneier – his team’s Skein function
is one of the five finalists – in 2006, when work began on the new algorithm, everyone thought that it would become a necessity. However, he highlights the fact that six years later, SHA-2 – the SHA-512 variant in particular – is still pretty secure.
“None of the SHA-3 candidates is significantly better. Some are faster, but not orders of magnitude faster. Some are smaller in hardware, but not orders of magnitude smaller,” he explained
Furthermore, he claims that unless the new function is critical to an application, he will continue to recommend the use of SHA-512.