With a one way function, it should be hard to determine the original input when only the output is known.
They are fundamental tools for:
- and other data security applications
A function f is one-way if and only if it can be computed by a polynomial time algorithm,
For instance, a cryptographic hashing function is designed to always produce the same result from the same password input, and to minimize collisions where two different passwords can produce the same result. This hash is always the same length and cannot be directly decrypted to reveal the plaintext password.
The relationship of one-way functions to cryptography
Can the reader say what two numbers multiplied together will produce the number 8616460799?
I think it unlikely that anyone but myself will ever know.
Easy / Hard
In applied contexts, the terms “easy” and “hard” are usually interpreted relative to some specific computing entity; typically “cheap enough for the legitimate users” and “prohibitively expensive for any malicious agents”.