Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hashing: Making it easier for users

Recently, I've been pondering how infrequently most people take advantage of MD5 or SHA-1/256 hashes of software on download pages. Here are two ways to easily use hash checks on a daily basis.

HashTab, which adds a properties tab to files which lists commonly referenced hashes for the file. This is an easy way to verify hashes in Windows for users who don't keep Cygwin handy

DownTheAll!, a popular and useful download plugin for FireFox will also verify MD5, SHA1, SHA256, and other hashes.

Of course, using md5sum on your *nix box is an easy option as well. How do you integrate hash checks for yourself, and how do you get your users to use them?

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