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Solaris 8 Security by Edgar Danielyan

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Random and Pseudo-Random Number Generators

Random numbers are frequently used in cryptography—almost any algorithm needs some sort of randomness for its operation. Because most computers don’t have special hardware for generating cryptographically strong randomness, different algorithms of different quality are often used for this purpose. Unfortunately, only some of them produce randomness that is suitable for use in cryptography.

An example of a bad random-number generator is the rand() function, which exists in almost all programming languages. It is considered inadequate because it is a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG), and its period between producing repetitive patterns is very small. Because random numbers should be unpredictable ...

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