ab / reference.RFC.1750.xml

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<reference anchor='RFC1750'>

<title>Randomness Recommendations for Security</title>
<author initials='D.E.' surname='Eastlake' fullname='Donald E. Eastlake 3rd'>
<organization>Digital Equipment Corporation</organization>
<street>550 King Street</street>
<phone>+1 508 486 6577</phone>
<author initials='S.' surname='Crocker' fullname='Stephen D. Crocker'>
<organization>CyberCash Inc.</organization>
<street>2086 Hunters Crest Way</street>
<phone>+1 703 620 1222</phone>
<facsimile>+1 703 391 2651</facsimile>
<author initials='J.I.' surname='Schiller' fullname='Jeffrey I. Schiller'>
<organization>Massachusetts Institute of Technology</organization>
<street>77 Massachusetts Avenue</street>
<phone>+1 617 253 0161</phone>
<date year='1994' month='December' />
<t>Security systems today are built on increasingly 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 number space.</t>
<t>Choosing random quantities to foil a resourceful and motivated adversary is surprisingly difficult.  This paper 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 particular applications.</t></abstract></front>

<seriesInfo name='RFC' value='1750' />
<format type='TXT' octets='73842' target='' />