Verifying Important or At-risk Data
A third typical task that requires encryption is the verification or protection of the integrity of data. If you need to make sure that binaries or scripts or data have not been affected by outside modification (whether that modification is accidental, as in transmission errors, or deliberate, as in sabotage), then you are faced with this task.
Verification Using Digests
Our recommended method for verifying the integrity of data stored on removable media, such as CD-ROM archives or tape backups, or of files that shouldn't change without your knowledge, is to use a message digest algorithm, such as
sha1(), to save the hash value of the file or message when it is first stored. Then that hash can be looked ...