Bcrypt Step by Step: What Bcrypt Looks Like

Bcrypt Step by Step: What Bcrypt Looks Like

Bcrypt is a key derivation function, which can be thought of as a slow hash function. Its purpose is to slowly convert a piece of input data to a fixed-size, deterministic, and unpredictable output.

Bcrypt is a key derivation function, which can be thought of as a slow hash function. Its purpose is to slowly convert a piece of input data to a fixed-size, deterministic, and unpredictable output. A common use-case is to convert a password into an n-bit cryptographic key, which can then be used for safe authentication.

Here at Qvault, we use Bcrypt in our security systems. Bcrypt is a very popular password hashing function, so much so that it’s the hash function we currently teach the implementation of in our Practical Cryptography course.

What Bcrypt Looks Like

Using Bcrypt on the password myPassword123 would produce something like the following:

myPassword123 ->
$2y$12$vUw4OU4EAl4w4vC6/lA33OtDSYGhiIdekdT9iOoSs9/ckwrffaEui

That output can be used to compare against future hashes against to see if the original data matches.

Why not compare passwords directly?

In web development,it is insecure to store user’s passwords in plain text. If an attacker were to gain access to the server’s database they could find raw email/password combinations and use them to attack the same users on other sites.

At the very least we must hash user’s passwords, but hash functions like SHA-2 and MD5 are too fast to be secure. Using a KDF like Bcrypt provides security benefits over fast hashes because it is computationally expensive and slow. If an attacker gains access to a database of password hashes made with fast algorithms it is easy for them to “reverse” the hashes by guessing different inputs and seeing if the outputs match.

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