Questions tagged [random]

The generation of random or pseudorandom data, and the use of randomness in security protocols

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223
votes
11answers
44k views

Why is Math.random() not designed to be cryptographically secure?

The JavaScript Math.random() function is designed to return a single IEEE floating point value n such that 0 ≤ n < 1. It is (or at least should be) widely known that the output is not ...
177
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4answers
46k views

Is a rand from /dev/urandom secure for a login key?

Lets say I want to create a cookie for a user. Would simply generating a 1024 bit string by using /dev/urandom, and checking if it already exists (looping until I get a unique one) suffice? Should I ...
78
votes
5answers
24k views

Are GUIDs safe for one-time tokens?

I see a lot of sites use GUIDs for password resets, unsubscribe requests and other forms of unique identification. Presumably they are appealing because they are easy to generate, unique, non-...
73
votes
5answers
14k views

What makes Random Number Generators so fragile?

It seems to me that a hardware component which generates random numbers is extremely simple - just measure tiny vibrations in the hardware with a sensor, right? Maybe I'm wrong but it seems like if ...
72
votes
7answers
15k views

Are random URLs a safe way to protect profile photos?

I would like to move from sequential to random user IDs, so I can host profile photos publicly, i.e. example.com/profilepics/asdf-1234-zxcv-7890.jpg. How long must user IDs be to keep anyone from ...
65
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3answers
31k views

Is it appropriate to use haveged as a source of entropy on virtual machines?

While looking for solutions to entropy pool depletion on virtual machines, I came across an interesting project called haveged, which is based on the HAVEGE algorithm (HArdware Volatile Entropy ...
58
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4answers
11k views

Expert quote on entropy for uncrackable password

Could anyone point to a quote in a published work - or suggest a recognised expert who might provide a quote - which answers the following question How much entropy in a password would guarantee ...
50
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9answers
46k views

Feeding /dev/random entropy pool?

Which way of additionally feeding /dev/random entropy pool would you suggest for producing random passwords? Or, is there maybe a better way to locally create fully random passwords?
39
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4answers
5k views

Is generating random numbers using a smartphone camera a good idea?

Forgive my ignorance on the subject, but I wish to know more and asking (stupid) questions are one way. I was reading http://www.random.org/randomness/ and this idea popped into my head (before the ...
34
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3answers
13k views

Predicting Math.random() numbers?

I was reading up on the documentation for Math.random() and I found the note: Math.random() does not provide cryptographically secure random numbers. Do not use them for anything related to ...
34
votes
2answers
14k views

Is “real salt” the same as “initialization vectors”?

In the question about real vs. fake salt, the answers describe how real salt 'perturbs the encryption algorithm.' I know roughly how initialization vectors work; is this the same concept, or something ...
33
votes
3answers
15k views

Cracking a linear congruential generator

I was recently listening to the security now podcast, and they mentioned in passing that the linear congrunential generator (LCG) is trivial to crack. I use the LCG in a first year stats computing ...
33
votes
3answers
13k views

How long should a random nonce be?

NIST provides good guidelines on the length of keys and hashes for various algorithms. But I don't see anything specifically on the length of a random or pseudo-random nonce (number used once). If ...
32
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11answers
10k views

One liner to create passwords in linux?

How do you create a readable password using bash with one line? What if i'm looking for 128 bits of entropy? EDIT By readable I mean the 94 printable ascii characters (without space). It can use ...
29
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4answers
10k views

Is randomly generating passwords from an assortment of dictionary words cryptographically secure? [duplicate]

We should all know the XKCD comic on password strength, suggesting (appropriately) that a password based on multiple common words is more secure and memorable than a password such as Aw3s0m3s4u(3 or ...
28
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4answers
32k views

What do I need to configure, to make sure my software uses /dev/urandom?

When setting up a server, what configuration changes do I need to make sure that all of the software uses /dev/urandom instead of /dev/random? Some servers don't have much entropy in the entropy pool ...
26
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4answers
4k views

Flaw in encryption through pseudorandom number stream (from PGP documentation)

I was reading PGP docs and came upon a part written by Phil Zimmermann (PGP's creator) that piqued my curiosity: When I was in college in the early 70s, I devised what I believed was a brilliant ...
24
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7answers
6k views

Are humans a strong or weak RNG? [duplicate]

Thomas Pornin has stated in the past on multiple occasions (I'm not going to source them, he can argue with me if he wants) that humans are bad RNGs. While I agree that human RNG for password ...
24
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2answers
3k views

Is “always use /dev/urandom” still good advice in an age of containers and isolation?

In short: Instead of another question asking about when to use /dev/random instead of /dev/urandom, I present the following scenario, in which I find myself in an application I'm building: A VM or ...
23
votes
4answers
21k views

Why OpenSSL can't use /dev/random directly?

I couldn't find the answer for the reason anywhere, even the wiki page doesn't explain it. This seems like using a PRNG for seeding an another PRNG. The first one (/dev/random) may itself be seeded by ...
22
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5answers
10k views

Java SecureRandom doesn't block? How?

I know from experience that reading from /dev/random blocks when the Linux kernel entropy pool runs out of entropy. Also, I've seen many articles and blog entries stating that when running on Linux, ...
22
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5answers
2k views

Hashed password storage with random salt

Ever since I've been making sites that require a user to log in with a username and password I've always kept the passwords somewhat secure by storing them in my database hashed with a salt phrase. ...
22
votes
4answers
9k views

Generate cryptographically strong pseudorandom numbers in Javascript?

Is there any good way to generate cryptographically strong pseudorandom (or true random) numbers in Javascript? The crucial requirement: if a.com's Javascript generates some random numbers, no one ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Why should double submit CSRF tokens be cryptographically strong random numbers?

I was just going through the OWASP's Cheat Sheet for CSRF Prevention. Regarding the double submit cookies method, it says: the site should generate a (cryptographically strong) pseudorandom value ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Do randomized PIDs bring more security?

What is the concrete advantage of using random PIDs instead of traditional sequential ones? Some times ago, I've read an article in the french magazine MISC (no. 74 - July/August, 2014) publishing a ...
19
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3answers
1k views

Does (online) poker require cryptographically secure randomness?

Here’s a quote from a reddit discussion: … for poker [a cryptographically secure RNG] is completely unnecessary. If you have an appropriate unpredictable seed, and you are throwing away a lot of ...
19
votes
2answers
953 views

What statistics can be used to identify pseudorandom data?

I'm working on some code that attempts to identify files whose contents appear to be "random". As such, I'm looking for statistical measures that can be used to identify such randomness. I've ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

What's eating my entropy? Or what does entropy_avail really show?

Below are graphs with the value of /proc/sys/kernel/random/entropy_avail on a Raspberry Pi. This answer which might not be correct describes it as: The pattern always comes to the same "stable" saw ...
18
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6answers
3k views

What does “random” mean in the context of password creation?

Disclaimer: as you will see from my question I'm a total outsider in this subject, just very curious. I was wondering how easy it would be to crack a password-protected RAR5 file, and I found many ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

RdRand from /dev/random

"Linus Torvalds, in response to a petition on Change.org to remove RdRand from /dev/random, has lambasted the petitioner by called him ignorant for not understanding the code in Linux Kernel. Kyle ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

How insecure are non-cryptographic random number generators?

I always hear that C rand() is not secure, but what how many calls would you need to know in order to predict the next value (or at least cut down the possibilities)? Would they have to be sequential? ...
16
votes
3answers
24k views

License key / Serial number generator and checker

I need a serial number generator and accompanying checker. I would like to be able to set a salt (and maybe a length). The generator should only produce serial numbers that pass the test of the ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Correct way to get a number from 0-9 from a random byte?

If I have a good random number generator that gives me a byte of data at a time, and I want to extract a random decimal digit of 0 to 9 from that byte stream, what is the correct way to do that? At ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Evaluating the entropy gathering in a PRNG

I'm reviewing the random number generator (expected to be of cryptographic quality) on an embedded device. My point of view here is the operating system and crypto library implementer. I'm ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Postgres's uuid_generate_v4 securely random?

I'm using Postgres's uuid_generate_v4 in a uuid primary key column to generate secure one-time authentication tokens. Is this okay? Does Postgres use a secure random number source for generating these ...
16
votes
2answers
433 views

What research suggests that user's mouse movements are (not) sufficiently unpredictable for secret key generation?

I have not been able to find any credible source which tried to prove or disprove the randomness of mouse movements. A Google Scholar search for "mouse movement entropy" gives surprisingly few ...
15
votes
4answers
11k views

What are you doing when you move your mouse randomly during a truecrypt volume creation?

Is that called a 'round' every time you move your mouse when creating a new volume? I'm talking about the screen with the random numbers during the volume creation process. What is the purpose of ...
15
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3answers
2k views

How long to re-seed /dev/urandom in a virtual machine?

I have read plenty about the distinction between /dev/random and /dev/urandom. I understand that the prevailing advice is to use /dev/urandom. The explanation - that 256 bits of 'proper' randomness ...
14
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5answers
4k views

Do mobile OS's provide crypto-quality randomness?

Which mobile OS's provide a primitive to generate crypto-quality randomness that applications can use? On desktop systems, these features are pervasive. Unix provides /dev/urandom. Windows provides ...
14
votes
3answers
18k views

Can the numbers on RSA SecurID tokens be predicted?

My workplace uses these SecurID tokens which provide you with a temporary password, the code will expire after a short time. I have always been fascinated by the things, because it seems as though ...
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Should passwords be truly random?

When generating a password, should it be "truly random" or should I make it a little less random by enforcing some rules? If a password is generated at random, it could come out all-lowercase letters ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

How does a weakness in a random number generator lead to a compromise of the entire cryptographic process?

In the news, there are several articles (here, here, and the technical point of view) which have to do with a weakness in a random number generator. The question is somewhat twofold. What symptoms do ...
14
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3answers
3k views

Is a predictable MAC address a risk?

If you knew from the public internet that a certain IP address belonged to a machine with a certain MAC address, can you see any security exposure associated with that? I know that some software will ...
13
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7answers
7k views

Testing a hardware random number generator

The Raspberry Pi has a built in hardware random number generator but there doesn't appear to be any public documentation on the hardware, and even if there were it would be questionable (what company ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Is a concatenation of random numbers better than a single random number?

We are generating random numbers 16 digits in length. One option that was put forward was to generate four random numbers of 4 digits each and concatenate them instead of just generating a single 16 ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

Is keepass random password generator fully secure and trustworthy?

Am I safe using keepass for generating passwords? For example my accounts, am I safe using a keepass generated password? Could my future keepass master-keys be safely generated in keepass? What method ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Cryptographic Security of Dynamically Generated, Non-Random Salts

So when it comes to security, when I have an idea that seems good, but no one else seems to be doing, I try to assume that I'm overlooking something obvious or otherwise significant. This is one such ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Can the human brain generate cryptographically secure random numbers?

A security conscious friend of mine was attempting to generate entropy using random dice rolls to generate a random password, and I became curious about the security of random number generators and ...
12
votes
1answer
5k views

How to predict C rand()? [duplicate]

Is there a practical way to predict previous/next C rand() output if i have some of the values? How many values do i need? Do they need to be consequent? If it depends on compiler - for which ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Using computer random number generators to produce keys, it is secure?

Does generating an encryption key using the random number generator on one's computer present a security risk? If so how might that risk be mitigated, specifically when generating RSA key pairs in ....