# Message Authentication Code

Message Authentication Code definition in **Computer Security** terms:

Acronym(s): MAC

Definition(s): A cryptographic checksum that results from passing data through a message authentication algorithm. In this Standard, the message authentication algorithm is called HMAC, while the result of applying HMAC is called the MAC.

**Source(s):** FIPS 198-1

A family of cryptographic algorithms that is parameterized by a symmetric key. Each of the algorithms can act on input data of arbitrary length to produce an output value of a specified length (called the MAC of the input data). A MAC algorithm can be used to provide data origin authentication and data integrity.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-108

A cryptographic checksum that is generated on data using a cryptographic algorithm that is parameterized by a symmetric key. The message authentication code is designed to provide data origin authentication and detect both accidental errors and the intentional modification of the data.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-132

A data authenticates generated from the message, usually through cryptographic techniques. In general, a cryptographic key is also required as an input.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-15

A cryptographic checksum on data that uses a symmetric key to detect both accidental and intentional modifications of data.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-152

NIST SP 800-57 Part 1 Rev. 3

NIST SP 800-57 Part 3 Rev. 1

A bit string of fixed length, computed by a MAC generation algorithm, that is used to establish the authenticity and, hence, the integrity of a message.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-38B

A cryptographic checksum on data that is designed to reveal both accidental errors and intentional modifications of the data.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-38C

A family of cryptographic algorithms that is parameterized by a symmetric key. Each of the algorithms can act on input data (called a message) of an arbitrary length to produce an output value of a specified length (called the MAC of the input data). A MAC algorithm can be used to provide data origin authentication and data integrity protection. In this Recommendation, a MAC algorithm is also called a MAC function.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-56C

A cryptographic checksum on data that uses a symmetric key to detect both accidental and intentional modifications of the data. MACs provide authenticity and integrity protection, but not non-repudiation protection.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-63-2

A MAC address is a (hopefully) unique 48-bit value that is permanently assigned to a particular wireless network interface.

**Source(s):** NIST SP 800-97

A cryptographic checksum on data that uses a symmetric key to detect both accidental and intentional modifications of the data.

**Source(s):** CNSSI 4009-2015 (FIPS 201-1)

Synonym(s): Authentication Tag

reference: CSRC Glossary

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