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SubjectRe: Intel 810 Random Number Generator

On 26-Jan-00 Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> However, I think that past a certain point, it does make more sense to
> have a user-level daemon which handles the verification and sampling
> tests for the chip. If it's done right, it can work across multiple
> hardware RNG's, simply by reading the randomness from the device
> drivers, and then doing the appropriate pre-processing, and then feeding
> it into /dev/random with the appropriate entropy credits. Perhaps there
> should be a "simple mode" which simply takes inputs from the driver and
> feeds them directly into /dev/random without the intervention of the
> user-mode process, and it can simply be very conservative about how much
> entropy credit it gives to the entropy count. But there should be a way
> for a user-mode process to disable this and take over control over
> the post-RNG processing.

So something like a /dev/entropy where user-mode can get direct access to all
the current collected entropy. A daemon could read /dev/entropy, /dev/i810rng
and whatever else, mush it all up, compute the amount of real entropy and
write it back to /dev/random with an ioctl to update its available entropy.

If /dev/entropy is closed, then /dev/random could revert to its current mode of
operation, where system noise is fed in directly with a conservative count of
entropy bits.

Is that what you mean?

J

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