A paper about cracking SHA-1 originally surfaced in 2005, from a fairly reputable scientific source in China, it was widely publicised nor talked about much.
But then recently, just last month China managed to make a wave out of it, almost 2 years after the initial ‘report’.
It was even Slashdotted on January 20th 2007, the article states the following:
These two main algorithms are currently the crucial technology that electronic signatures and many other password securities use throughout the international community. They are widely used in banking, securities, and e-commerce. SHA-1 has been recognized as the cornerstone for modern Internet security. According to the article, in the early stages of Wang’s research, there were other data encryption researchers who tried to crack it. However, none of them succeeded. This is why in 15 years Hash research had become the domain of hopeless research in many scientists’ minds.
Source: Epoch Times
Bruce Schneier wrote about this in 2005, February in fact, almost 2 full years ago.
It’s not a major thing though and it’s far beyond anything most criminals could use to thwart national security…or even the security of things based on SHA-1 like OpenSSH.
There are however plenty of replacement algorithms if you are paranoid such as SHA-224, SHA-256, SHA-384, and SHA-512.