RSA Laboratories

A Practical Secure Physical Random Bit Generator

Markus Jakobsson, Elizabeth Shriver, Bruce K. Hillyer, and Ari Juels

Citation: A Practical Secure Physical Random Bit Generator. In M. Reiter, ed., Fifth ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security, pages 103-111, 1998.

Abstract: We suggest a practical and economical way to generate random bits using a computer disk drive as a source of randomness. It requires no additional hardware (given a system with a disk), and no user involvement. As a concrete example of performance, on a Sun Ultra-1 with a Seagate Cheetah disk, it generates bits at a rate of either 5 bits per minute or 577 bits per minute depending on the physical phenomena that we use as a source of randomness. The generated bits are random by a theoretical argument, and also pass a severe battery of statistical tests.

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