[Cryptography] Radioactive random numbers

Marcus D. Leech mleech at ripnet.com
Wed Sep 11 21:06:35 EDT 2013

On 09/11/2013 07:18 PM, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
> The attraction of methods that use nothing but a handful of
> transistors is that they can be fabricated on chip and thus have
> nearly zero marginal cost. The huge disadvantage is that if your
> opponent can convince chip manufacturers to introduce small changes
> into their design, you're in trouble.
> Perry
And this is the reason that I'd be in favour of "diversity" -- using 
sound cards, lava-lamps, etc, etc.  Sources that don't explicitly 
identify themselves
   as "the random number generator".

There's no way for a bad actor to cover "all the bases", and since these 
things are primarily used for things other than random-number sources,
   it may be hard to "break" them in ways that doesn't also break their 
primary purpose (although, if you're just mucking with the low-order
   "noise bits" of some arbitrarily-chosen digitization of a real-world 
source, it would be hard to tell the difference).

Marcus Leech
Principal Investigator
Shirleys Bay Radio Astronomy Consortium

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