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SubjectRe: Continuing /dev/random problems with 2.4
Peter Monta wrote:

> Well, yes and no. What you really need is a conservative estimate
> of how much entropy is contained in n bits of input; a cryptographic
> hash, such as MD5, will distill out the "truly random". The comments
> in drivers/char/random.c claim that the input hash is cryptographically
> noncritical, but to be pedantic, maybe MD5 the audio noise before
> writing to /dev/random.

/dev/random rather does that itself (that's what the output hash does.)

> Assuming the sound-card output looks like reasonable noise of
> a few LSBs amplitude, a conservative estimate might be 0.1 bit
> of entropy per sample. This is 9600 bits of entropy per second
> from a stereo card, more than enough.
> A small daemon would wake up every so often, check if /dev/random
> needs topped up, read some audio samples, MD5(), write(),
> ioctl(# of claimed entropy bits). I haven't seen the i810 RNG tools,
> but I guess they do something similar.

The point with the tests that have been mentioned is to derive such a
conservative estimate, and to raise a red flag if the output suddenly
becomes predictable.


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