Programming Hashing Algorithms (part 4) - Hashing Streamed Data

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4. Hashing Streamed Data

You can also create a hash code from a stream of data; this is useful for processing datafiles or for reading data from a network connection. The HashAlgorithm class contains an overloaded version of the ComputeHash method for working with streams:

# C#

public byte[] ComputeHash(
Stream inputStream

# Visual Basic .NET

Overloads Public Function ComputeHash( _
ByVal inputStream As Stream _
) As Byte( )

The following class demonstrates how to create a hash code using a stream, in this case streaming data from a file called myfile.txt, which contains the string "Programming .NET Security":

# C#

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Security.Cryptography;

class StreamHash {

static void Main(string[] args) {

// create the file stream
Stream x_stream = new FileStream("mydata.txt", FileMode.Open);

// create an instance of the MD5 hashing algorithm
HashAlgorithm x_hash_alg = HashAlgorithm.Create("MD5");

// obtain the hash code from the HashAlgorithm by
// using the ComputeHash method
byte[] x_hash_code = x_hash_alg.ComputeHash(x_stream);

// print out the hash code to the console
foreach (byte x_byte in x_hash_code) {
Console.Write("{0:X2} ", x_byte);

// close the stream
x_stream.Close( );

# Visual Basic .NET

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Security.Cryptography

Module StreamHash

Sub Main( )
' create the file stream
Dim x_stream As Stream = New FileStream("mydata.txt", FileMode.Open)

' create an instance of the MD5 hashing algorithm
Dim x_hash_alg As HashAlgorithm = HashAlgorithm.Create("MD5")

' obtain the hash code from the HashAlgorithm by
' using the ComputeHash method
Dim x_hash_code( ) As Byte = x_hash_alg.ComputeHash(x_stream)

' print out the hash code to the console
Dim x_byte As Byte
For Each x_byte In x_hash_code
Console.Write("{0:X2} ", x_byte)

' close the stream
x_stream.Close( )

End Sub

End Module

As you might expect, the output from the example, shown below, is the same hash code produced by our first example:

E1 62 9F C2 96 85 C3 A4 5B 94 97 57 D8 9C 65 78

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