[cryptography] Enranda: 4MB/s Userspace TRNG

Alexandre Anzala-Yamajako anzalaya at gmail.com
Fri May 29 10:55:17 EDT 2015

> I still think it's important that TRNGs be practical in real usage contexts.
> As mundane as it sounds, perhaps the safest practice is just to ask the user
> to enter 50 random digits when they install the OS (or shake the mouse or
> whatever). At some point (100 digits?), even an uncreative person is going
> to produce enough entropy to be worth 128+ bits. From that point on, it's
> all CSPRNG. That way, we don't need to worry about timedelta predictability
> or how to  securely acquire a new USB randomness device when it gets lost
> somewhere far away from the IT department.

I see a few problems with that. First 128 bits of entropy is a lot to
ask from a human and you'll end up with a string of however many 'a'
character you asked for. I personally don't think you can blame any of
that on the user : how should he know or care that it is important ?
Where is he supposed to find those 100+ (that seems low actually)
digits. passwords have thought us that when users don't care we end up
with extremely low variability
Another issue is in a lot of cases (think cloud/virtualization) OS are
setup without human interaction.
Last thing is you can't completely rely on a well seeded CSPRNG
forever : you need to be able to reseed it in case of compromise and
since you won't necessarily know when the compromise happened it's
good practice to reseed from time to time

Alexandre Anzala-Yamajako

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