... a bit of searching around... it appears that the key phrase is "message digest". It does appear that "they" would be safe? Ie, they are to be used to compute "uniqueness" as opposed to a focus on security. My impression is that SHA based algorithms are "better" than the MD5 ones...
If someone could point out to me the "safest" approach (as in uniqueness, as opposed to security), I would much appreciate it!!!!
A couple of links for the interested:
The former answers my question about Perl CPAN library functions. Both the above also have many other algorithms in play, but do linux implementations incorporate the others beyond MD5 & SHA algorithms?
An additional concern I have is typically how long would it take to generate the appropriate sum for a data block roughly DVD sized, and also if it were around 30GB-block? Are there any practical tips as how to approach generation of such sums for very large datasets? For eg, is it wise to generate these for the whole block or chop it up into smaller sub-blocks and then compute a series of such sums?
Any thoughts/tips would be much appreciated. Thanks.