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A hash list is simply a set of hash values related to sets of data items linked together in a file or folder system or some other connective array format. Hash lists are used to analyze data in a database or other environment, to access one or more of these items, to assess the size of an array, or for other investigative purposes.
In a basic sense, a “hash” is simply the connection of a data set of arbitrary size to another usually smaller data set of a fixed size. Hashes allow for smaller storage tools, and other efficiencies. A hash list shows how a set of hash values are related: how they collectively work to store data from a given “block” or unified collection. For example, if there are ten first and last names in a database table, hashed to ten integers, the hash list would be the set of ten integers representing the totality of the original information.
Hash lists also have an important utility when it comes to data security. Putting a hash into a list, rather than just using one hash value for an entire block, makes it easier to check incoming input over a peer-to-peer network or other connectivity model, and figure out whether any individual data set correlating to a hash value on the list has been compromised, or is in fact fake or illegitimate. Analyzing a set of blocks of data through a hash list segments the analysis and makes it easier to spot destructive hacking. That is one common use of hash lists in a hash cryptography system.