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How to calculate MD5 and SHA hash values in Java

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In cryptography, MD5 (Message Digest version 5) and SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) are two well-known message digest algorithms. They are also referred as cryptographic hash functions, which take arbitrary-sized data as input (message) and produce a fixed-length hash value. One of the most important properties of hash functions is, it’s infeasible to generate a message that has a given hash (secure one-way). Hash functions are frequently used to check data integrity such as checking integrity of a downloaded file against its publicly-known hash value. Another common usage is to encrypt user’s password in database.
The Java platform provides two implementation of hashing functions: MD5 (produces 128-bit hash value), SHA-1 (160-bit) and SHA-2 (256-bit). This tutorial demonstrates how to generate MD5 and SHA hash values from String or file using Java.

Here are general steps to generate a hash value from an input (message):
Now, let’s see some examples in details.
1. Generating Hash from String
The following method takes a message and algorithm name as inputs and returns hexadecimal form of the calculated hash value:
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private static String hashString(String message, String algorithm)
        throws HashGenerationException {
 
    try {
        MessageDigest digest = MessageDigest.getInstance(algorithm);
        byte[] hashedBytes = digest.digest(message.getBytes("UTF-8"));
 
        return convertByteArrayToHexString(hashedBytes);
    } catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException | UnsupportedEncodingException ex) {
        throw new HashGenerationException(
                "Could not generate hash from String", ex);
    }
}
The HashGenerationException is a custom exception (you can find this class in the attachment). TheconvertByteArrayToHexString() method is implemented as follows:
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private static String convertByteArrayToHexString(byte[] arrayBytes) {
    StringBuffer stringBuffer = new StringBuffer();
    for (int i = 0; i < arrayBytes.length; i++) {
        stringBuffer.append(Integer.toString((arrayBytes[i] & 0xff) + 0x100, 16)
                .substring(1));
    }
    return stringBuffer.toString();
}
The hashString() is a general method. Here are four public utility methods that are specific to each algorithm (MD5, SHA-1 and SHA-256):
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public static String generateMD5(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashString(message, "MD5");
}
 
public static String generateSHA1(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashString(message, "SHA-1");
}
 
public static String generateSHA256(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashString(message, "SHA-256");
}
Hence we have the following utility class:
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package net.codejava.security;
 
import java.io.UnsupportedEncodingException;
import java.security.MessageDigest;
import java.security.NoSuchAlgorithmException;
 
/**
 * Hash functions utility class.
 * @author www.codejava.net
 *
 */
public class HashGeneratorUtils {
    private HashGeneratorUtils() {
 
    }
 
    public static String generateMD5(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
        return hashString(message, "MD5");
    }
 
    public static String generateSHA1(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
        return hashString(message, "SHA-1");
    }
 
    public static String generateSHA256(String message) throws HashGenerationException {
        return hashString(message, "SHA-256");
    }
 
    private static String hashString(String message, String algorithm)
            throws HashGenerationException {
 
        try {
            MessageDigest digest = MessageDigest.getInstance(algorithm);
            byte[] hashedBytes = digest.digest(message.getBytes("UTF-8"));
 
            return convertByteArrayToHexString(hashedBytes);
        } catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException | UnsupportedEncodingException ex) {
            throw new HashGenerationException(
                    "Could not generate hash from String", ex);
        }
    }
 
    private static String convertByteArrayToHexString(byte[] arrayBytes) {
        StringBuffer stringBuffer = new StringBuffer();
        for (int i = 0; i < arrayBytes.length; i++) {
            stringBuffer.append(Integer.toString((arrayBytes[i] & 0xff) + 0x100, 16)
                    .substring(1));
        }
        return stringBuffer.toString();
    }
}
Here’s a test program:
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package net.codejava.security;
 
/**
 * Test generating hash values from String.
 * @author www.codejava.net
 *
 */
public class StringHashGeneratorExample {
 
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            String inputString = args[0];
            System.out.println("Input String: " + inputString);
 
            String md5Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateMD5(inputString);
            System.out.println("MD5 Hash: " + md5Hash);
 
            String sha1Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateSHA1(inputString);
            System.out.println("SHA-1 Hash: " + sha1Hash);
 
            String sha256Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateSHA256(inputString);
            System.out.println("SHA-256 Hash: " + sha256Hash);
        } catch (HashGenerationException ex) {
            ex.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
 
}
If the input message is “admin” the test program produces the following output:
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Input String: admin
MD5 Hash: 21232f297a57a5a743894a0e4a801fc3
SHA-1 Hash: d033e22ae348aeb5660fc2140aec35850c4da997
SHA-256 Hash: 8c6976e5b5410415bde908bd4dee15dfb167a9c873fc4bb8a81f6f2ab448a918
2. Generating Hash from File
To calculate hash value of a large file effectively, it’s recommended to repeatedly put a chunk of bytes to the message digest, until reaching end of file. Here’s such method:
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private static String hashFile(File file, String algorithm)
        throws HashGenerationException {
    try {
        MessageDigest digest = MessageDigest.getInstance(algorithm);
        FileInputStream inputStream = new FileInputStream(file);
        byte[] bytesBuffer = new byte[1024];
        int bytesRead = -1;
 
        while ((bytesRead = inputStream.read(bytesBuffer)) != -1) {
            digest.update(bytesBuffer, 0, bytesRead);
        }
        inputStream.close();
 
        byte[] hashedBytes = digest.digest();
 
        return convertByteArrayToHexString(hashedBytes);
    } catch (NoSuchAlgorithmException | IOException ex) {
        throw new HashGenerationException(
                "Could not generate hash from file", ex);
    }
}
Here are four public methods that are specific to each algorithm:
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public static String generateMD5(File file) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashFile(file, "MD5");
}
 
public static String generateSHA1(File file) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashFile(file, "SHA-1");
}
 
public static String generateSHA256(File file) throws HashGenerationException {
    return hashFile(file, "SHA-256");
}
And here’s a test program:
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package net.codejava.security;
 
import java.io.File;
 
/**
 * Test generating hash values from File.
 * @author www.codejava.net
 *
 */
public class FileHashGeneratorExample {
 
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            String filePath = args[0];
            System.out.println("File Path: " + filePath);
            File file = new File(filePath);
             
            String md5Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateMD5(file);
            System.out.println("MD5 Hash: " + md5Hash);
             
            String sha1Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateSHA1(file);
            System.out.println("SHA-1 Hash: " + sha1Hash);
 
            String sha256Hash = HashGeneratorUtils.generateSHA256(file);
            System.out.println("SHA-256 Hash: " + sha256Hash);         
 
        } catch (HashGenerationException ex) {
            ex.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
 
}
Example output:
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File Path: D:JavaPDFViewerJPedalPDFViewer.zip
MD5 Hash: 56a86f56a18b73353e5f0afa7b142ed1
SHA-1 Hash: dc55bd7e84c4787242499ec068fa145bcca01937
SHA-256 Hash: 093059d79d009662a0a7f70c74cec934a73c1becc8ac813cdcc4995f2aeb882c
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