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SubjectRe: [PATCH, RFC 10/12] random: cap the rate which the /dev/urandom pool gets reseeded
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I understand the motivation, but I question basing it in a fixed amount of time.

Theodore Ts'o <tytso@mit.edu> wrote:
>On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 02:21:48PM -0700, H. Peter Anvin wrote:
>> Is this really an improvement on a system with plenty of entropy?
>Would it not make more sense to modulate this bad on entropy production
>rates?
>>
>> Also, the urandom pool is only reseeded once per read, no matter how
>large...
>
>I added this after observing using the random driver's tracepoints to
>measure how the entropy pool behaves on a desktop system. It turns
>outs the Chrome browser requests a truly amazing amount of entropy
>using /dev/urandom. Enough so that while you are reading GMail or
>using G+, the available entropy in the input pool is always running at
>minimum levels. (i.e., it never gets above 192 bits before we do a
>catatrophic reseed and it drops down to 128 bits.)
>
>I'm not sure what the heck it is doing --- maybe it is using
>/dev/urandom to generate random padding values? I can't believe it is
>opening new SSL connetions that quickly. So this might be a Chrome
>bug, and I can talk to some Chrome developers when I get into work
>tomorrow. But in the case of badly behaved applications, this is
>useful.
>
>It results in more entropy building up in the input pool before we do
>a reseed, so it should result in better "catastrophic reseeding", and
>it means that there is more entropy available in the input pool for
>use by the /dev/random pool, even if /dev/urandom is being used in
>what might be arguably considered an abusive fashion.
>
>You can test this by applying the patch, and observing the value of
>/proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail over time while running a Chrome
>browser (and there may be other userspace applications which are as
>aggressive in the use of /dev/urandom). The compare it after running
>the command "echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/random/urandom_min_reseed_secs",
>which will restore the original pre-patch behaviour.
>
> - Ted

--
Sent from my mobile phone. Please pardon brevity and lack of formatting.


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