PRNG design document?

Bob Baldwin PlusFive baldwin at
Fri Aug 22 13:00:14 EDT 2003

     One issue to consider is whether the system
that includes the PRNG will ever need a FIPS-140-2
rating.  For example, people are now working on
a FIPS-140 validation for OpenSSL.  If so, then
the generator for keys and IVs MUST be a FIPS
approved algorithm, whether or not there are
algorithms with better designs.  Some issues like
seed pool management are outside the scope of
the generator, so you can follow good practice there.
     The FIPS-140 vocabulary is "Deterministic Random
Number Generator" which has a "Seed Key" and one
or more "Seed" values.  The two most popular DRNG
are from FIPS-186-2 Appendix 3.1 based on SHA-1,
and X9.31 Appendix A based on TDES.  At the moment,
there is no FIPS approval for AES as a DRNG, though
"real soon now" the X9.31 algorithm will be approved
with AES.
              --Bob Baldwin
                 Partner, Plus Five Consulting, Inc.
                 baldwin at, voice & fax: 1-650-852-9675

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