[Cryptography] Techniques for malevolent crypto hardware

Kent Borg kentborg at borg.org
Mon Sep 9 09:17:20 EDT 2013

On 09/08/2013 11:56 PM, Jerry Leichter wrote:
> Which brings into the light the question:  Just *why* have so many random number generators proved to be so weak.

Your three cases left off an important one: Not bothering to seed the 
PRNG at all.  I think the Java/Android cryptographic (!) library bug 
that just came up was an instance of that.

I think the root of the problem is that programs are written, and bugs 
squashed, until the program works. Maybe throw some additional testing 
at it if we are being thorough, but then business pressures and boredom 
says ship it.

That won't catch a PRNG that wasn't seeded, nor a hashed password that 
wasn't salted, the unprotected URL, the SQL injection path, buffer 
overflow, etc.

Computer security is design, implementation, and skepticism.  But unless 
you can sell it with a buzzword...


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