What is Argon2?#
argon2.PasswordHasher with its default parameters to securely hash your passwords.
You do not need to read or understand anything below this box.
Argon2 is a secure password hashing algorithm. It is designed to have both a configurable runtime as well as memory consumption.
This means that you can decide how long it takes to hash a password and how much memory is required.
Argon2 comes in three variants:
is faster and uses data-depending memory access, which makes it less suitable for hashing secrets and more suitable for cryptocurrencies and applications with no threats from side-channel timing attacks.
uses data-independent memory access, which is preferred for password hashing and password-based key derivation. Argon2i is slower as it makes more passes over the memory to protect from tradeoff attacks.
is a hybrid of Argon2i and Argon2d, using a combination of data-depending and data-independent memory accesses, which gives some of Argon2i’s resistance to side-channel cache timing attacks and much of Argon2d’s resistance to GPU cracking attacks.
Why “just use bcrypt” Is Not the Best Answer (Anymore)#
The current workhorses of password hashing are unquestionably bcrypt and PBKDF2. And while they’re still fine to use, the password cracking community embraced new technologies like GPUs and ASICs to crack password in a highly parallel fashion.
An effective measure against extreme parallelism proved making computation of password hashes also memory hard. The best known implementation of that approach is to date scrypt. However according to the Argon2 paper, page 2:
[…] the existence of a trivial time-memory tradeoff allows compact implementations with the same energy cost.
Therefore a new algorithm was needed. This time future-proof and with committee-vetting instead of single implementors.
Password Hashing Competition#
The Password Hashing Competition took place between 2012 and 2015 to find a new, secure, and future-proof password hashing algorithm. Previously the NIST was in charge but after certain events and revelations their integrity has been put into question by the general public. So a group of independent cryptographers and security researchers came together.
In the end, Argon2 was announced as the winner.