8 Randomness and secrets

This chapter covers

  • What randomness is and why it’s important
  • Obtaining strong randomness and producing secrets
  • The pitfalls of randomness

This is the last chapter of the first part of this book, and I have one last thing to tell you before we move on to the second part and learn about actual protocols used in the real world. It is something I’ve grossly neglected so far — randomness.

You must have noticed that in every cryptographic algorithm you’ve learned (with the exception of hash functions), you had to use randomness at some point: secret keys, nonces, IVs, prime numbers, challenges, and so on. As I was going through these different concepts, randomness always came from some magic black box. This is not atypical. ...

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