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I think you're confused because of a misunderstanding between encrypting and hashing. I'll try to clarify by quoting your original post. "When you view the configuration of the appliance it shows the key as a cipher text (imagine perhaps the idea is stop people shoulder surfing the key of the appliance). So the plain text key I entered in the appliance ...


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In fact although you might be said to be performing the hash for lookup performance, it is being done to be PCI compliant. There are two ways of looking at this. Do x, it is the right thing to do. Do x, or we'll get caught not doing it. Doing x to prevent cracking does not really come into it, since there are only about 5 numbers to guess in some cases. ...


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If you know how the salt is used when hashing the clear text phrase this only makes it easier to brute force. The number of possibilities you have to check will be going dramatically down, since you only have to check for the phrase without the salt. Still if it is a long phrase with many different characters it will take a lot of time.


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Hash functions are designed to go only one way. If you have a password, you can easily turn it into a hash, but if you have the hash, the only way to get the original password back is by brute force, trying all possible passwords to find one that would generate the hash that you have. Assuming the salt is very long, not knowing the salt would make it nearly ...



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