Ted writes:
> A couple of comments here.  It was always the intention that
> /dev/random be 0666, and in my implementation, writing to
> /dev/random mixed the input into the entropy pool *without* changing
> the entropy estimate.

I see.  This is not clear.

We recently set it /dev/random to group writeable for a server
application so we could write into /dev/random without being root.
I'll change that to 0666.

I think the confusion may come from a misunderstanding about the
access control mechanism on the ioctls.  (I tried 0666 just now and
called the ioctl to zero the pool as a user and it denies access based
on not being root -- so 0666 is in fact safe).

Everyone seems to be setting it to 0644.  Default linux Redhat,
Slackware, freeBSD etc., etc is 0644.  

This is wrong, and as a result applications which really could benefit
/dev/random by writing (private keys, encrypted IVs, user passwords,
etc) aren't doing it.  These tricks can really help mitigate lack of
input device entropy in server environments.

Given the importance of this, we ought to draw this to the attention
of distribution maintainers and get it fixed.  Bugtraq may be a good
way to get the word out?

The rest of Ted's comments about Yarrow and /dev/random design are
interesting -- next mail.


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