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Re: /dev/random is hot garbage

On Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 04:36:41PM +0000, wrote:
> > On Jul 22, 2019, at 10:52 AM, Joerg Sonnenberger <> wrote:
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > On Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 09:13:48PM +0000, wrote:
> >> 
> >> 
> >>> On Jul 21, 2019, at 5:03 PM, Joerg Sonnenberger <> wrote:
> >>> 
> >>> 
> >>> 
> >>> On Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 08:50:30PM +0000, wrote:
> >>>> /dev/urandom is equivalent to /dev/random if there is adequate entropy,
> >>>> but it will also deliver random numbers not suitable for cryptography before that time.
> >>> 
> >>> This is somewhat misleading. The problem is that with an unknown entropy
> >>> state, the system cannot ensure that an attacker couldn't predict the
> >>> seed used for the /dev/urandom stream. That doesn't mean that the stream
> >>> itself is bad. It will still pass any statistical test etc.
> >> 
> >> That's exactly my point.  If you're interested in a statistically high
> >> quality pseudo-random bit stream, /dev/urandom is a gread source.  But
> >> if you need a cryptographically strong random number, then you can't
> >> safely proceed with an unknown entropy state for the reason you stated,
> >> which translates into "you must use /dev/random".
> > 
> > That distinction makes no sense at all to me. /dev/urandom is *always* a
> > cryptographically strong RNG. The only difference here is that without
> > enough entropy during initialisation of the stream, you can brute force
> > the entropy state and see if you get a matching output stream based on
> > that seed.
> I use a different definition of "cryptographically strong".  A bit string
> that's guessable is never, by any useful definition, "cryptographically
> strong" no matter what the properties of the string extender are.  The
> only useful definition for the term I can see is as a synonym for
> "suitable for security critical value in cryptographic algorithms".
> An unseeded /dev/urandom output is not such a value.

Again, that's not really a sensible definition. It's always possible to
guess the seed of used by the /dev/urandom CPRNG. By definition. That
doesn't change the core properties though: there is no sensible way to
predict the output of CPRNG without knowing the initial seed and offset.
There is no known correlation between variations of the seed. As in: the
only thing partial knowledge of the seed gives you is reducing the
propability of guessing the right seed. It's a similar situation to why
the concept of entropy exhaustion doesn't really make sense.


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