[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line Internet-Drafts directories.
Title : Randomness Requirements for Security
Author(s) : D. Eastlake, J. Schiller, S. Crocker
Filename : draft-eastlake-randomness2-05.txt
Pages : 53
Date : 2003-12-9
Security systems today are built on strong cryptographic algorithms
that foil pattern analysis attempts. However, the security of these
systems is dependent on generating secret quantities for passwords,
cryptographic keys, and similar quantities. The use of pseudo-random
processes to generate secret quantities can result in pseudo-
security. The sophisticated attacker of these security systems may
find it easier to reproduce the environment that produced the secret
quantities, searching the resulting small set of possibilities, than
to locate the quantities in the whole of the potential number space.
Choosing random quantities to foil a resourceful and motivated
adversary is surprisingly difficult. This document points out many
pitfalls in using traditional pseudo-random number generation
techniques for choosing such quantities. It recommends the use of
truly random hardware techniques and shows that the existing hardware
on many systems can be used for this purpose. It provides
suggestions to ameliorate the problem when a hardware solution is not
available. And it gives examples of how large such quantities need
to be for some applications.
A URL for this Internet-Draft is:
To remove yourself from the IETF Announcement list, send a message to
ietf-announce-request with the word unsubscribe in the body of the message.
Internet-Drafts are also available by anonymous FTP. Login with the username
"anonymous" and a password of your e-mail address. After logging in,
type "cd internet-drafts" and then
A list of Internet-Drafts directories can be found in
Internet-Drafts can also be obtained by e-mail.
Send a message to:
In the body type:
NOTE: The mail server at ietf.org can return the document in
MIME-encoded form by using the "mpack" utility. To use this
feature, insert the command "ENCODING mime" before the "FILE"
command. To decode the response(s), you will need "munpack" or
a MIME-compliant mail reader. Different MIME-compliant mail readers
exhibit different behavior, especially when dealing with
"multipart" MIME messages (i.e. documents which have been split
up into multiple messages), so check your local documentation on
how to manipulate these messages.
Below is the data which will enable a MIME compliant mail reader
implementation to automatically retrieve the ASCII version of the