Today has been a somewhat unusual day in the crypto world. Some people have found collisions in some of the major hash algorithms used today. In itself, it’s interesting but not earthshaking – after all, by their very nature, hash functions contain collisions. But a method for finding collisions in some restricted case could well lead to more general methods, which would get exciting.
Being a cynic, I tried to verify the results in the paper using the funky MD5 in 8 lines of perl, but I couldn’t recreate their results. That was a bit unnerving. However, this page explains the discrepencies. Once the paper has been presented, presumably all will become clear.