Whirlpool (cryptography)

Whirlpool (sometimes styled WHIRLPOOL) is a cryptographic hash function. It was designed by (co-creator of the Advanced Encryption Standard) and , who first described it in 2000.

The hash has been recommended by the project. It has also been adopted by the (ISO) and the (IEC) as part of the joint ISO/IEC 10118-3 .


Design features

Whirlpool is a hash designed after the , 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 .

The authors have declared that

“WHIRLPOOL is not (and will never be) patented. It may be used free of charge for any purpose.” Changing the 8×8 rotating matrix constants from (1, 1, 3, 1, 5, 8, 9, 5) to (1, 1, 4, 1, 8, 5, 2, 9) solved this issue.

Internal structure

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

The W consists of an 8×8 state matrix 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=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 GF({2^8}). The matrix is chosen such that the branch number (an important property when looking at resistance to ) is 9, which is maximal.


The AddRoundKey operation uses bitwise 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 .

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

Version Input String Computed Hash
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 

Even a small change in the message will (with an extremely high probability of 1-10^{-154}) result in a different hash, which will look completely different just like two unrelated random numbers do. The following demonstrates the result of changing the previous input by a single letter (a single bit, even, in ASCII-compatible encodings), replacing d with e:

Version Input String Computed Hash
Whirlpool-0 The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy eog
228FBF76B2A93469D4B25929836A12B7D7F2A0803E43DABA0C7FC38BC11C8F2A 9416BBCF8AB8392EB2AB7BCB565A64AC50C26179164B26084A253CAF2E012676 
Whirlpool-T The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy eog
C8C15D2A0E0DE6E6885E8A7D9B8A9139746DA299AD50158F5FA9EECDDEF744F9 1B8B83C617080D77CB4247B1E964C2959C507AB2DB0F1F3BF3E3B299CA00CAE3 
Whirlpool The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy eog
C27BA124205F72E6847F3E19834F925CC666D0974167AF915BB462420ED40CC5 0900D85A1F923219D832357750492D5C143011A76988344C2635E69D06F2D38C 

The hash of a zero-length string is:

Version Input String Computed Hash
Whirlpool-0 “”
B3E1AB6EAF640A34F784593F2074416ACCD3B8E62C620175FCA0997B1BA23473 39AA0D79E754C308209EA36811DFA40C1C32F1A2B9004725D987D3635165D3C8 
Whirlpool-T “”
470F0409ABAA446E49667D4EBE12A14387CEDBD10DD17B8243CAD550A089DC0F EEA7AA40F6C2AAAB71C6EBD076E43C7CFCA0AD32567897DCB5969861049A0F5A 
Whirlpool “”
19FA61D75522A4669B44E39C1D2E1726C530232130D407F89AFEE0964997F7A7 3E83BE698B288FEBCF88E3E03C4F0757EA8964E59B63D93708B138CC42A66EB3 


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

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

The algorithm is also commonly used by many companies to hash simple data.



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