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I want to decrypt a sha256 to text. Is there a way other than bruteforcing to decrypt sha256? Like if I convert that SHA256 to MD5 and then try decrypting?I know its hard and the possible way for sha256 to text may be bruteforcing. Any other insights are appreciated other than sarcasm. I have considered rainbow table as well. But I dont think it will be effective on this one.

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    If there were another way, you would have an infinite compression algorithm. – Lucas Kauffman Apr 9 '15 at 6:28
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SHA256 and MD5 are hashing algorithms, or "one-way encryption" if you will.

A hash function is any function that can be used to map digital data of arbitrary size to digital data of fixed size (Wikipedia (Hash function))

So to get the (probable*) plaintext that was hashed, brute-force is the only way.

There are rainbow tables as well as you mentioned but they mostly cover passwords [citation needed].

* Since the hashing algorithms have defined output lengths, the resulting hash may collide with other plaintexts, such as when MD5 was badly broken. More on Wikipedia (MD5: Collision vulnerabilities)

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SHA256 and MD5 are message digest algorithm. You can only encrypt your data using this algorithms. If you want to validate this data then you need to encrypt that data and compare it to validate it. And as you told brute-force is the only way to get that data back and it's too difficult to decode it. If you realy want tha data back then go for AES/DES encryption.

  • SHA and MD are cryptographic hash functions, not encryption. You can't encrypt data with them and you can't brute-force them either since there is an infinity of valid input that will generate the same output. – Stephane Apr 9 '15 at 9:45

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