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Device hash

Device hash

(also hardware hash, device fingerprint)

Device hash definition

A device hash is a unique identifier based on the attributes of a computing device’s hardware components. A device hashes can help identify a specific device in a variety of contexts, such as security, license enforcement, device management, and fraud prevention.

See also: anti-fraud system, cryptographic hash function, hash function, hashing, hardware identification

How a device hash is generated

To generate a device hash, the user must collect the desired number of details about the device’s hardware and process them using a cryptographic hash function. The end result is a fixed-length string of characters known as the “hash.”

Because a hash is tied to the device’s hardware configuration, devices with similar setups may produce identical hashes. To avoid this, widen the scope of the procedure by including additional device details.

Keep in mind that a device’s hardware components may be replaced over time. The user may need to recalculate their device’s hash after upgrading or removing components.

Common device hash uses

  • Device hashes can be used for authentication to protect systems from unauthorized access.
  • Anti-fraud systems use device hashes to identify devices involved in suspicious activities.
  • Software vendors can prevent the same license from being used on multiple devices simultaneously by associating it to a specific device hash.
  • IT administrators use device hashes to keep track of devices within their network.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security