PySkein 1.0 - The Skein Hash Algorithm for Python

PySkein is an extension module for Python, implementing the Skein hash algorithm, one of the five finalists of the NIST SHA-3 Competition. While ultimately not selected as the winner of that competition, Skein may still be useful as an alternative hash algorithm, offering flexible hashing modes with various parameters. PySkein provides all features of Skein through a Pythonic interface and is released as free software under the GNU General Public License. Its highlights are:

  • Simple interface following the hash algorithms in the Python standard library (like hashlib.sha1 or hashlib.sha256)
  • All features of the Skein specification (flexible digest sizes, MAC generation, tree hashing, and various others)
  • High performance through optimized C implementation (7.1 cycles/byte for sequential hashing and 4.2 cycles/byte for tree hashing on two cores, measured on an Athlon 64 X2)
  • Threefish, the tweakable block cipher used in Skein, available for encryption and decryption on its own

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