Q: When is the RNG needed?

Tim Walberg walberg at cig.mot.com
Fri Jan 29 07:54:51 CET 1999

On 01/29/1999 11:53 +0100, Werner Koch wrote:
>>	Not a Pseudo RNG is needed but a RNG.  The difference is that a PRNG
>>	outputs a well defined sequence of random bytes once it has been
>>	seeded.

I have written a not-quite-so-pseudo-RNG that I use for some small applications
that I've developed. It's based on the Xrand48 functions but also includes
factors from the current time-of-day (time() et. al.) and Solaris' high-resolution
timers (gethrtime(), gethrvtime()). I know that  the  high res timers are
not supported on all platforms, but considering the interface they provide
(there is no well-defined zero point - all you are guaranteed is that the
values are monotonically increasing and that they are reasonably accurate
to some hardware-defined resolution), they seemed like a fair candidate for
helping avoid absolute predictability. I haven't done any formal analysis
of the algorithm, but it has been more than suitable for  my needs. I'm
curious whether a similar approach has been considered for GPG (or other
uses) - I know there would be some portability issues, but  it might
be simpler than  a  separate daemon  and quicker than compressing/encrypting
a bunch of files... Any thoughts?


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