[cryptography] Hardware Randomizer (SE Android)

Jeffrey Walton noloader at gmail.com
Sun Mar 4 20:12:17 EST 2012

Hi All,

I've been reading SE Android's Mobile Capabilities Package
I'm interested in seeing how the NSA collects entropy and produces

So far, the only item of interest is a "hardware randomizer" mentioned
in section 4.4.4. Thinking about it, I'm not sure what a "hardware
randomizer" is. Hardware randomizer seems a bit non-standard to me - I
see a discussion of the linux kernel and PIIIs for a hardware
randomizer [1] from Indiana University, and a IC for a hardware
randomizer [2].

Does this thing produce random bits like like a hardware based RNG
(similar to Entropy Key (http://www.entropykey.co.uk/))? Does it feed
/dev/[u]random? Or does it take bits from /dev/[u]random, add a secret
sauce, and produce an output stream pseudo random bits?


[1] http://lkml.indiana.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/9910.1/1254.html
[2] rf.harris.com/media/Acropolis_tcm26-9013.pdf

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