Is there a way to decrypt a String that is hashed into a CRC int from a specific table?


I have this very archaic Java code that has left behind a one-way solution for converting strings (which are always "some_string_like_this_03" format) into a CRC using bitwise math that is referenced by a lot of other mechanics in the very large codebase.

Is there any reasonable way to reverse this so I can add a getStringFromCrc method?

public static int getStringCrc(String s)
    int crc = CRC_INIT;
    if (s != null)
        char[] c = s.toCharArray();
        for (char c1 : c) crc = crctable[((crc >> 24) ^ (c1 & 0xff)) & 0xff] ^ (crc << 8);
    return crc ^ CRC_INIT;
public final static int CRC_INIT = 0xFFFFFFFF;
public final static int[] crctable =
    0x00000000, 0x04C11DB7, 0x09823B6E, 0x0D4326D9, 0x130476DC, 0x17C56B6B, 0x1A864DB2, 0x1E475005,
    0x2608EDB8, 0x22C9F00F, 0x2F8AD6D6, 0x2B4BCB61, 0x350C9B64, 0x31CD86D3, 0x3C8EA00A, 0x384FBDBD,
    0x4C11DB70, 0x48D0C6C7, 0x4593E01E, 0x4152FDA9, 0x5F15ADAC, 0x5BD4B01B, 0x569796C2, 0x52568B75,
    0x6A1936C8, 0x6ED82B7F, 0x639B0DA6, 0x675A1011, 0x791D4014, 0x7DDC5DA3, 0x709F7B7A, 0x745E66CD,
    0x9823B6E0, 0x9CE2AB57, 0x91A18D8E, 0x95609039, 0x8B27C03C, 0x8FE6DD8B, 0x82A5FB52, 0x8664E6E5,
    0xBE2B5B58, 0xBAEA46EF, 0xB7A96036, 0xB3687D81, 0xAD2F2D84, 0xA9EE3033, 0xA4AD16EA, 0xA06C0B5D,
    0xD4326D90, 0xD0F37027, 0xDDB056FE, 0xD9714B49, 0xC7361B4C, 0xC3F706FB, 0xCEB42022, 0xCA753D95,
    0xF23A8028, 0xF6FB9D9F, 0xFBB8BB46, 0xFF79A6F1, 0xE13EF6F4, 0xE5FFEB43, 0xE8BCCD9A, 0xEC7DD02D,
    0x34867077, 0x30476DC0, 0x3D044B19, 0x39C556AE, 0x278206AB, 0x23431B1C, 0x2E003DC5, 0x2AC12072,
    0x128E9DCF, 0x164F8078, 0x1B0CA6A1, 0x1FCDBB16, 0x018AEB13, 0x054BF6A4, 0x0808D07D, 0x0CC9CDCA,
    0x7897AB07, 0x7C56B6B0, 0x71159069, 0x75D48DDE, 0x6B93DDDB, 0x6F52C06C, 0x6211E6B5, 0x66D0FB02,
    0x5E9F46BF, 0x5A5E5B08, 0x571D7DD1, 0x53DC6066, 0x4D9B3063, 0x495A2DD4, 0x44190B0D, 0x40D816BA,
    0xACA5C697, 0xA864DB20, 0xA527FDF9, 0xA1E6E04E, 0xBFA1B04B, 0xBB60ADFC, 0xB6238B25, 0xB2E29692,
    0x8AAD2B2F, 0x8E6C3698, 0x832F1041, 0x87EE0DF6, 0x99A95DF3, 0x9D684044, 0x902B669D, 0x94EA7B2A,
    0xE0B41DE7, 0xE4750050, 0xE9362689, 0xEDF73B3E, 0xF3B06B3B, 0xF771768C, 0xFA325055, 0xFEF34DE2,
    0xC6BCF05F, 0xC27DEDE8, 0xCF3ECB31, 0xCBFFD686, 0xD5B88683, 0xD1799B34, 0xDC3ABDED, 0xD8FBA05A,
    0x690CE0EE, 0x6DCDFD59, 0x608EDB80, 0x644FC637, 0x7A089632, 0x7EC98B85, 0x738AAD5C, 0x774BB0EB,
    0x4F040D56, 0x4BC510E1, 0x46863638, 0x42472B8F, 0x5C007B8A, 0x58C1663D, 0x558240E4, 0x51435D53,
    0x251D3B9E, 0x21DC2629, 0x2C9F00F0, 0x285E1D47, 0x36194D42, 0x32D850F5, 0x3F9B762C, 0x3B5A6B9B,
    0x0315D626, 0x07D4CB91, 0x0A97ED48, 0x0E56F0FF, 0x1011A0FA, 0x14D0BD4D, 0x19939B94, 0x1D528623,
    0xF12F560E, 0xF5EE4BB9, 0xF8AD6D60, 0xFC6C70D7, 0xE22B20D2, 0xE6EA3D65, 0xEBA91BBC, 0xEF68060B,
    0xD727BBB6, 0xD3E6A601, 0xDEA580D8, 0xDA649D6F, 0xC423CD6A, 0xC0E2D0DD, 0xCDA1F604, 0xC960EBB3,
    0xBD3E8D7E, 0xB9FF90C9, 0xB4BCB610, 0xB07DABA7, 0xAE3AFBA2, 0xAAFBE615, 0xA7B8C0CC, 0xA379DD7B,
    0x9B3660C6, 0x9FF77D71, 0x92B45BA8, 0x9675461F, 0x8832161A, 0x8CF30BAD, 0x81B02D74, 0x857130C3,
    0x5D8A9099, 0x594B8D2E, 0x5408ABF7, 0x50C9B640, 0x4E8EE645, 0x4A4FFBF2, 0x470CDD2B, 0x43CDC09C,
    0x7B827D21, 0x7F436096, 0x7200464F, 0x76C15BF8, 0x68860BFD, 0x6C47164A, 0x61043093, 0x65C52D24,
    0x119B4BE9, 0x155A565E, 0x18197087, 0x1CD86D30, 0x029F3D35, 0x065E2082, 0x0B1D065B, 0x0FDC1BEC,
    0x3793A651, 0x3352BBE6, 0x3E119D3F, 0x3AD08088, 0x2497D08D, 0x2056CD3A, 0x2D15EBE3, 0x29D4F654,
    0xC5A92679, 0xC1683BCE, 0xCC2B1D17, 0xC8EA00A0, 0xD6AD50A5, 0xD26C4D12, 0xDF2F6BCB, 0xDBEE767C,
    0xE3A1CBC1, 0xE760D676, 0xEA23F0AF, 0xEEE2ED18, 0xF0A5BD1D, 0xF464A0AA, 0xF9278673, 0xFDE69BC4,
    0x89B8FD09, 0x8D79E0BE, 0x803AC667, 0x84FBDBD0, 0x9ABC8BD5, 0x9E7D9662, 0x933EB0BB, 0x97FFAD0C,
    0xAFB010B1, 0xAB710D06, 0xA6322BDF, 0xA2F33668, 0xBCB4666D, 0xB8757BDA, 0xB5365D03, 0xB1F740B4
asked on Stack Overflow Nov 2, 2020 by Adovi • edited Nov 6, 2020 by Adovi

2 Answers


I think you mean a getStringFromCrc method.

Unless you happen to know that the string contains 32 bits of information or less, and that the strings have a one-to-one mapping to the CRCs, then no, it's not possible. See the pigeon hole principle.

If those criteria are met, then you can find the original string. E.g. if the string has four characters or less.

answered on Stack Overflow Nov 2, 2020 by Mark Adler

Assuming that the input strings are as you describe, then it is NOT POSSIBLE to reverse a CRC to recover the original string.

If we consider (just) 24 character strings comprising lowercase letters, digits and underscores (as per your example), there are 3724 possible strings. That is approximately 4.3335257 * 1037.

But if we generate a CRC the will fit into an int, there are only 232 CRC values possible. That is 4294967296 or 4.294967296 * 1010.

If we divide the former by the latter we get the result that each CRC value matches 1.0089776 * 1028 possible 24 character strings. But there is no way of knowing which of the possible strings is the correct one.

The only case where the CRC might be reversible for strings of this size is if:

  1. the set of actual strings is relatively small, AND
  2. you know what all of the strings are beforehand, AND
  3. there aren't any CRC collisions; i.e. no two strings have the same CRC.

In that case you could calculate the CRCs for all of the strings, and then populate a Map<Integer, String> with entries for each CRC and the string it was generated from.

But I don't think this matches the problem that you have described ... so I think this is a non-solution.

answered on Stack Overflow Nov 9, 2020 by Stephen C • edited Nov 10, 2020 by Stephen C

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