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LinuxCertified: Randomness Shouldn't Be Left to Chance - Howto

Apr 23, 2004, 10:00 (1 Talkback[s])

"Good Random Number Generation is a key component to modern cryptography, statistical problem solving techniques, communication security, stock market prediction, etc., but is extremely difficult to implement on deterministic machines like modern computers. There is a large library of 'Psuedo-Random' algorithms that have been written to generate 'random like' number sequences, but given the same starting values or 'seeds,' they will produce exactly the same sequence. This predictability makes them ideal for some types of problems (see Perlin Noise for a great example), but an extreme liability for other uses.

"A truly random (completely unpredictable, and statistically sound) number generator needs a true chaotic randomness source feeding it. One of the best sources of statistically sound randomness is from quantum effects, such as radioactive decay, electron vibration noise, etc. It just so happens that there's a measurable quantum mechanical effect on silicon, and both Intel and AMD have been nice enough to put device hook to this into some of their hardware.

"I'll show you how to make this work..."

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