[cryptography] [FORGED] Re: Kernel space vs userspace RNG

Krisztián Pintér pinterkr at gmail.com
Tue May 17 06:09:54 EDT 2016

On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11:29 AM, Jaromil <jaromil at dyne.org> wrote:
> how about a lavalamp :^)

lavalamp is nice. its slow moving blobs generate some dozen or hundred
bits per second, i don't know how much, but not too much. it is then
gets recorded by a camera that easily generates many kilobytes of
entropy per second as noise. an obvious optimization to this scheme is
to remove the lavalamp, and point the camera to any surface that is
not black and not white. you lose only a tiny fraction of the entropy.
to my knowledge, this was the method used by lavarand. smarter people
don't go through this loop, but rather don't buy a lavalamp in the
first place.

so why the problem is not solved then? because random is too important
to trust the recording software and device drivers with it. you want
to audit the prng and the entropy collection. good luck auditing all
the software involved in recording video. also, a considerable
fraction of computers don't have cameras. finally, if the camera
fails, you are left with no entropy or very limited entropy, and you
probably won't even know about it.

that is the major benefit of onboard or even onchip sources: you can
rely on their existence, and there is a simple and straightforward way
for the kernel to access them.

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