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Friday, November 16, 2007

Choose your random number generator carefully

Bruce Schneier has just released his overview of the recently released US Government's official standard for random number generator.

His disclosure of a trap door found in the Dual_EC_DRBG is something of a worry:
This is scary stuff indeed.

Even if no one knows the secret numbers, the fact that the backdoor is present makes Dual_EC_DRBG very fragile. If someone were to solve just one instance of the algorithm's elliptic-curve problem, he would effectively have the keys to the kingdom.
And his recommendation to selecting a random number generator:
My recommendation, if you're in need of a random-number generator, is not to use Dual_EC_DRBG under any circumstances. If you have to use something in SP 800-90, use CTR_DRBG or Hash_DRBG.
I wonder what is the purpose behind all these.

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