It is currently said that MD5 is partially unsafe. Taking this into consideration, I'd like to know which mechanism to use for password protection.
This question, Is “double hashing” a password less secure than just hashing it once? suggests that hashing multiple times may be a good idea, whereas How to implement password protection for individual files? suggests using salt.
I'm using PHP. I want a safe and fast password encryption system. Hashing a password a million times may be safer, but also slower. How to achieve a good balance between speed and safety? Also, I'd prefer the result to have a constant number of characters.
- The hashing mechanism must be available in PHP
- It must be safe
- It can use salt (in this case, are all salts equally good? Is there any way to generate good salts?)
Also, should I store two fields in the database (one using MD5 and another one using SHA, for example)? Would it make it safer or unsafer?
In case I wasn't clear enough, I want to know which hashing function(s) to use and how to pick a good salt in order to have a safe and fast password protection mechanism.
Related questions that don't quite cover my question: