Integrated crypto

Gareth Westwood gareth at wffsystems.co.uk
Tue Mar 30 01:13:42 PST 2004


keithmo wrote:
> Here's an interesting technique for extracting entropy from air
> turbulence in disk drives: http://world.std.com/~dtd/random/forward.pdf
> or http://world.std.com/~dtd/random/forward.ps. Linux's /dev/random uses
> disk timings as one source of entropy for its pool, so it indirectly
> uses this technique already.
> 
> Of course, as Robert said, this doesn't help the diskless systems.
> Imagine a headless, diskless server used as a compute node in a cluster.
> The only source of entropy would be from the network. This would be an
> unacceptably lame source.
> 
> Another problem with diskless systems: They have no place to save a
> random seed between reboots. This means they always boot into exactly
> the same machine state. (Cluster administrators tend to think this is a
> great "feature", and it probably is in many ways.)

Is this a _realy_ bad thing or a bad thing or an annoying thing? Just 
wondering because I am working on a headless system which is accessed 
totaly over a ssh session. Only power and network connected into the back.
> 
> With the recent growth of relatively inexpensive clusters, I think this
> must be a solved problem. A bit of searching on Google was less than
> encouraging. The general consensus seems to be "some systems have
> practically zero entropy -- use a hardware RNG".
> 
> 
> KM
> 
> 


-- 
Gareth Westwood
LFS reg. 7163

There are only 10 types of people in this world,
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people,
but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons.
			Dr. David Butler, British psephologist



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