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    SubjectRe: CONFIG_RANDOM (compromise?)
    [This mail is not CC'ed to the linux-kernel list]

    >>>>> "tytso" == "Theodore Y Ts'o" <tytso@MIT.EDU> writes:

    tytso> From: lilo <TaRDiS@Mail.UTexas.EDU>
    tytso> As long as these devices don't have the same minor numbers.

    This will require a modified MAKEDEV script that knows how you compiled
    your current kernel ...

    tytso> If you're going to be using a pseudo-random number generator, then it
    tytso> doesn't belong in the kernel at all.

    Yes. (It would be too much overhead for a user-level program anyway).

    tytso> The whole reason for putting a /dev/random driver into the kernel was
    tytso> because it had access to low-level timing information which you couldn't
    tytso> efficiently obtain from a user-mode program.

    Now that is an important point.

    Theodore: Let me ask you a question regarding real security.

    If somebody (else) runs a process constantly sucking numbers from
    /dev/random on an (maybe your) essentially "idle" machine, i.e. with
    little activity on keyboard, disk, network, etc., can you still
    guarantee that _you_ still get sufficiently good random numbers from
    /dev/random, to prevent any attacks, even if this "somebody else"
    communicates these numbers to an assumed attacker? (Do not assume that
    you can use e.g. the Pentium time stamp register).

    Cheers,
    -Harald


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