| The MD4 message digest algorithm takes an input message of arbitrary length and produces an output 128-bit "fingerprint" or "message digest", in such a way that it is (hopefully) computationally infeasible to produce two messages having the same message digest, or to produce any message having a given prespecified target message digest. The MD4 algorithm is thus ideal for digital signature applications: a large file can be securely "compressed" with MD4 before being signed with (say) the RSA public-key cryptosystem.
The MD4 algorithm is designed to be quite fast on 32-bit machines. For example, on a SUN Sparc station, MD4 runs at 1,450,000 bytes/second (11.6 Mbit/sec). In addition, the MD4 algorithm does not require any large substitution tables; the algorithm can be coded quite compactly.
The MD4 algorithm is being placed in the public domain for review and possible adoption as a standard.