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An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed

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  • An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed

    Phoronix: An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed

    In 2015 we might see an open hardware random number generator that would connect to the system via an SD card slot...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTg2ODk

  • #2
    "Inserting the device into an SD card slot paired with a Linux kernel module would constantly just be providing trusted entropy to the system for better and faster randomization."

    "This would be a fresh source of trusted entropy"

    ...

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    • #3
      Here's proof that the CPU's internal RNG cannot be trusted. I've compared the random numbers from this SD card with the random numbers from my CPU.

      They were different.




      Seriously though, if the random numbers are only used for periodic reseeding, they should be safe. The linux kernel does some careful manipulation of the available entropy to handle biases or manipulated inputs, and the CPUs RNG is not the only source of entropy the system is using. Whatever comes out of /dev/{u,}random is meant to be unpredictable, and a (possibly manipulated) CPU RNG is not going to change that.

      See also http://www.2uo.de/myths-about-urandom/

      I'd worry more about the implications of sidechannel attacks against my CPU than RNG weaknesses.

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      • #4
        After "for a full-size SD card for wide compatibility by laptops, desktops, servers, and mobile devices." i doubt that he is serious. Everything else as a microSD as is a waste of time.

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        • #5
          Getting entropy from a stateful device... Just another thing to make note to steer clear of...

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          • #6
            Along similar lines: http://moonbaseotago.com/onerng/

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            • #7
              First let them drop a zero (to something like 5 box), and then post about it, not before.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by chrisf View Post
                that reminds me
                the white noise on the tv is mostly cosmic microwave background radiation

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                • #9
                  Considering RdRand. It is should be pretty easy to get secure random numbers from closed hardware as long as you have access to more than one machine. Just combine the results and any back-door should become useless. If you need safe random numbers while travelling with only one computer, you could just save a few MB of random numbers from a different computer and then use them in conjunction with the random numbers from your CPU.

                  With the portable aspect in mind, maybe it would be easer to just fill up a SD card with random numbers from one computer and use it on another as described above. Then you just need to refuel your SD card once in a while with new numbers. No additional hardware required and should be quite easy to implement in software. It would actually be just as safe as the proposed implementation as long as you get new numbers often enough.

                  What we need is a file system dedicated to storing random numbers and a kernel module able to use and update those numbers. The file system should be smart enough to differentiate between different machines. If it's the same machine then the user should be notified if the numbers should be updated. If the numbers comes from a different machine use them. If the numbers are out of date or used too often without an update notify and warn the user.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gens View Post
                    that reminds me
                    the white noise on the tv is mostly cosmic microwave background radiation
                    Chemtrails.

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