On Sun, Jul 20, 2008 at 4:50 AM, Florian Weimer wrote:

> I've got a function f : S -> X x S where S = (Z/2Z)**96 and
> X = (Z/2Z)**32.  Suppose that s_0 is fixed and (x_i, s_i) = f(s_{i-1}).
> (f implements a PRNG.  The s_i are subsequent internal states and the
> x_i are results.)
> Now f happens to be linear.  I know the values of x_i, x_{i+1}, ...,
> x_{i+k} module N, for a fixed, known N.  N is odd (but divisible by 9).
> Is it possible to recover s_i with reasonable effort (better than brute
> force, and k should be in the hundreds, not thousands)?  And if yes, how?
> Prediction of candidates for x_{i+k+1} with high probability would be
> helpful, too.
> (Obviously, using f as an unpredictable PRNG is not a good idea.  But if
> there's a real attack I can present, convincing the authors to replace
> it would be so much easier.)

>From a little bit of off-line discussion, I think I've got a restatement of
the problem that is more suitable to those with a stronger programming
background than mathematical background:

    "If someone uses the __random32 function as defined in the 2.6.26 Linux
kernel, and leaks to you the result of taking successive outputs modulo
28233 (= 9 * 3137), can you determine the probable 96-bit internal state
with fewer than 1000 outputs and with modest processing power (e.g., a
laptop computer running less than a day)?"

Here is a C implementation of __random32:

typedef unsigned long u32;
struct rnd_state { u32 s1, s2, s3; };
static u32 __random32(struct rnd_state *state)
#define TAUSWORTHE(s,a,b,c,d) ((s&c)<<d) ^ (((s <<a) ^ s)>>b)

    state->s1 = TAUSWORTHE(state->s1, 13, 19, 4294967294UL, 12);
    state->s2 = TAUSWORTHE(state->s2,  2, 25, 4294967288UL, 4);
    state->s3 = TAUSWORTHE(state->s3,  3, 11, 4294967280UL, 17);

    return (state->s1 ^ state->s2 ^ state->s3);

__random32: See


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