Hardware random number generator

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Hardware random number generator

Wai Wu
 
I would like to know your opinions on commercial hardware random number
generators. Are they worth the money? How do they compare to the
/dev/random device? Thnx.
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Re: Hardware random number generator

Michael Sierchio
Wai Wu wrote:

> I would like to know your opinions on commercial hardware random number
> generators. Are they worth the money? How do they compare to the
> /dev/random device? Thnx.

I've written extensively about this elsewhere.  The devices are properly
termed RBGs (random bit generators), and they produce very high quality,
cryptographically useful random bit streams.  The Intel chip on many
Intel Mobos has been extensively analyzed by Paul Kocher and others.

In summary, these are useful for stirring the entropy pool, but are
generally have maximum bit rates that are well below what a busy server
may need for random material, including ephemeral keys, nonces, padding,
etc.
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