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Re: Simple Hardware RNG Idea

Timothy C. May writes:
> I'm not making an appeal to authority here, just telling you why I'm
> skeptical of all of these proposals to make a radioactive decay-based
> random number source. There are much easier ways.)

I don't believe the "easier" ways are actually really easier, in so
far as it is very hard to successfully demonstrate that there are no
hidden flaws in most kinds of hardware RNGs -- showing you aren't
picking up nearby RFI and turning it into your RNG output and things
of that sort. A radioactive source is hard to manipulate at a
distance. It will not produce a big volume of random numbers but it
will produce pretty high quality ones. If you have a free running
/dev/rand implementation that saves a lot of them up you should have
enough for most of our purposes.

And, as I noted, there are RS232 interfaceable radiation detectors you
can buy off the shelf -- no hardware hacking needed.