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 Post subject: Random Number Generators
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:18 pm
Posts: 2177
Location: USA
One of the first things you may hear at a site is about their "fair" random number generators.They speak of it as if it is an impenetrable, trustworthy and secure device that is unbiased and accurate. If it has not been "toyed" with, that may be true. For the technician or owner that wants to control the outcome of a game, there are avenues that can supply a happy ending.
Below is a part of an article from Wikipedia that deals with random generated number systems, and although I do not truly understand the specific technical means by which it is accomplished, I do understand it CAN be done.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_num ... tor_attack

RNG subversion
Subverted random numbers can be created using a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator with a seed value known to the attacker but concealed in the software. A relatively short, say 24 to 40 bit, portion of the seed can be truly random to prevent tell-tale repetitions, but not long enough to prevent the attacker from recovering, say, a "randomly" produced key.
Random numbers typically go through several layers of hardware and software before they are used. Bits may be generated in a peripheral device, sent over a serial cable, collected in an operating system utility and retrieved by a system call. The subverted bits can be substituted at any point in this process with little likelihood of detection.
A hardware circuit to produce subverted bits can be built on an integrated circuit a few millimeters square. The most sophisticated hardware random number generator can be subverted by placing such a chip anywhere upstream of where the source of randomness is digitized, say in an output driver chip or even in the cable connecting the RNG to the computer. The subversion chip can include a clock to limit the start of operation to some time after the unit is first turned on and run through acceptance tests, or it can contain a radio receiver for on/off control. It could be installed by the manufacturer at the behest of his national signals intelligence service, or added later by anyone with physical access. CPU chips with built-in hardware random number generators can be replaced by compatible chips with a subverted RNG in the chips firmware.


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 Post subject: Re: Random Number Generators
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:20 am
Posts: 3508
Location: USA
http://www.random.org/randomness/

Introduction to Randomness and Random Numbers

RANDOM.ORG is a true random number service that generates randomness via atmospheric noise. This page explains why it's hard (and interesting) to get a computer to generate proper random numbers.

Random numbers are useful for a variety of purposes, such as generating data encryption keys, simulating and modeling complex phenomena and for selecting random samples from larger data sets. They have also been used aesthetically, for example in literature and music, and are of course ever popular for games and gambling. When discussing single numbers, a random number is one that is drawn from a set of possible values, each of which is equally probable, i.e., a uniform distribution. When discussing a sequence of random numbers, each number drawn must be statistically independent of the others.

With the advent of computers, programmers recognized the need for a means of introducing randomness into a computer program. However, surprising as it may seem, it is difficult to get a computer to do something by chance. A computer follows its instructions blindly and is therefore completely predictable. (A computer that doesn't follow its instructions in this manner is broken.) (more at above link)


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