Whirlpool (hash function)

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DesignersVincent Rijmen, Paulo S. L. M. Barreto
First published2000, 2001, 2003
Derived fromSquare, AES
Digest sizes512 bits
Security claimsLarge hashsum size
Best public cryptanalysis
In 2009, a rebound attack was announced that presents full collisions against 4.5 rounds of Whirlpool in 2120 operations, semi-free-start collisions against 5.5 rounds in 2120 time and semi-free-start near-collisions against 7.5 rounds in 2128 time.

In computer science and cryptography, Whirlpool (sometimes styled WHIRLPOOL) is a cryptographic hash function. It was designed by Vincent Rijmen (co-creator of the Advanced Encryption Standard) and Paulo S. L. M. Barreto, who first described it in 2000.

The hash has been recommended by the NESSIE project. It has also been adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as part of the joint ISO/IEC 10118-3 international standard.

Design features

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), which inspired the name of the algorithm.

Whirlpool is a hash designed after the Square block cipher, and is considered to be in that family of block cipher functions.

Whirlpool is a Miyaguchi-Preneel construction based on a substantially modified Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

Whirlpool takes a message of any length less than 2256 bits and returns a 512-bit message digest.

The authors have declared that

"WHIRLPOOL is not (and will never be) patented. It may be used free of charge for any purpose."

Version changes

The original Whirlpool will be called Whirlpool-0, the first revision of Whirlpool will be called Whirlpool-T and the latest version will be called Whirlpool in the following test vectors.

Internal structure

The Whirlpool hash function is a Merkle–Damgård construction based on an AES-like block cipher W in Miyaguchi–Preneel mode.

The block cipher W consists of an 8×8 state matrix S {\displaystyle S} of bytes, for a total of 512 bits.

The encryption process consists of updating the state with four round functions over 10 rounds. The four round functions are SubBytes (SB), ShiftColumns (SC), MixRows (MR) and AddRoundKey (AK). During each round the new state is computed as S = A K ∘ M R ∘ S C ∘ S B ( S ) {\displaystyle S=AK\circ MR\circ SC\circ SB(S)} .


The SubBytes operation applies a non-linear permutation (the S-box) to each byte of the state independently. The 8-bit S-box is composed of 3 smaller 4-bit S-boxes.


The ShiftColumns operation cyclically shifts each byte in each column of the state. Column j has its bytes shifted downwards by j positions.


The MixRows operation is a right-multiplication of each row by an 8×8 matrix over G F ( 2 8 ) {\displaystyle GF({2^{8}})} . The matrix is chosen such that the branch number (an important property when looking at resistance to differential cryptanalysis) is 9, which is maximal.


The AddRoundKey operation uses bitwise xor to add a key calculated by the key schedule to the current state. The key schedule is identical to the encryption itself, except the AddRoundKey function is replaced by an AddRoundConstant function that adds a predetermined constant in each round.

Whirlpool hashes

The Whirlpool algorithm has undergone two revisions since its original 2000 specification.

People incorporating Whirlpool will most likely use the most recent revision of Whirlpool; while there are no known security weaknesses in earlier versions of Whirlpool, the most recent revision has better hardware implementation efficiency characteristics, and is also likely to be more secure. As mentioned earlier, it is also the version adopted in the ISO/IEC 10118-3 international standard.

The 512-bit (64-byte) Whirlpool hashes (also termed message digests) are typically represented as 128-digit hexadecimal numbers.
The following demonstrates a 43-byte ASCII input (not including quotes) and the corresponding Whirlpool hashes:

Version Input String Computed Hash
Whirlpool-0 "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" 4F8F5CB531E3D49A61CF417CD133792CCFA501FD8DA53EE368FED20E5FE0248C 3A0B64F98A6533CEE1DA614C3A8DDEC791FF05FEE6D971D57C1348320F4EB42D
Whirlpool-T "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" 3CCF8252D8BBB258460D9AA999C06EE38E67CB546CFFCF48E91F700F6FC7C183 AC8CC3D3096DD30A35B01F4620A1E3A20D79CD5168544D9E1B7CDF49970E87F1
Whirlpool "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" B97DE512E91E3828B40D2B0FDCE9CEB3C4A71F9BEA8D88E75C4FA854DF36725F D2B52EB6544EDCACD6F8BEDDFEA403CB55AE31F03AD62A5EF54E42EE82C3FB35


The authors provide reference implementations of the Whirlpool algorithm, including a version written in C and a version written in Java. These reference implementations have been released into the public domain.

Research on the security analysis of the Whirlpool function however, has revealed that on average, the introduction of 8 random faults is sufficient to compromise the 512-bit Whirlpool hash message being processed and the secret key of HMAC-Whirlpool within the context of Cloud of Things (CoTs). This emphasizes the need for increased security measures in its implementation.


Two of the first widely used mainstream cryptographic programs that started using Whirlpool were FreeOTFE, followed by TrueCrypt in 2005.

VeraCrypt (a fork of TrueCrypt) included Whirlpool (the final version) as one of its supported hash algorithms.

See also


  1. ^ Florian Mendel1, Christian Rechberger, Martin Schläffer, Søren S. Thomsen (2009-02-24). The Rebound Attack: Cryptanalysis of Reduced Whirlpool and Grøstl (PDF). Fast Software Encryption: 16th International Workshop.{{cite conference}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e Paulo S. L. M. Barreto (2008-11-25). "The WHIRLPOOL Hash Function". Archived from the original on 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  3. ^ Barreto, Paulo S. L. M. & Rijmen, Vincent (2003-05-24). "The WHIRLPOOL Hashing Function". Archived from the original (ZIP) on 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2018-08-09. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Kyoji, Shibutani & Shirai, Taizo (2003-03-11). "On the diffusion matrix employed in the Whirlpool hashing function" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-08-09. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Li, W., Gao, Z., Gu, D., Ge, C., Liao, L., Zhou, Z., Liu, Y., & Liu, Z. (2017). Security Analysis of the Whirlpool Hash Function in the Cloud of Things. KSII Transactions on Internet and Information Systems, 11(1), 536–551. https://doi.org/10.3837/tiis.2017.01.028
  6. ^ "Whirlpool". VeraCrypt Documentation. IDRIX. Retrieved 2018-08-09.