Am Samstag, 18. März 2017, 14:43:18 CET schrieb Jeffrey Walton:

Hi Jeffrey,

> > I am not sure how this statement relates to the quote above. RDSEED is the
> > CBC-MACed output of the flip-flop providing the raw noise.
> > 
> > RDRAND is the output of the SP800-90A CTR DRBG that is seeded by the
> > CBC-MAC that also feeds RDSEED. Thus, RDSEED is as fast as the noise
> > source where RDRAND is a pure deterministic RNG that tries to be
> > (re)seeded as often as possible.
> > 
> > Both instructions are totally unrelated to the SP800-90A DRBG available to
> > the Linux kernel.
> SP800-90A requires an entropy source to bootstrap the Hash, HMAC and
> CTR generators. That is, the Instantiate and Reseed functions need an
> approved source of entropy. Both RDRAND and RDSEED are approved for
> Intel chips. See SP800-90A, Section 8.6.5
> (

I am aware that SP800-90A makes the claim of having an approved noise source. 
But as of now, there is no such thing.

NIST is aware of that issue. To cover that issue during a FIPS 140-2 
validation, you have to prove your noise sources to be compliant to SP800-90B. 
I performed such noise source assessments as part of the FIPS 140-2 
validations of the Intel Sunrise Point or the Qualcomm HW DRBG FIPS 140-2 
validations. Also, I completed such assessments for the FIPS 140-2 validations 
of the legady /dev/random covering numerous Linux-based cryptographic modules 
over the last couple of years.

To get a glimpse of how such assessments for FIPS 140-2 are conducted, please 
have a look at the assessment [1] section starting on page 72 in the 
lower half (note that I was the main author of this study). To be honest, the 
assessment in [1] section 5.5 was the main motivation for my LRNG 

That said, [2] section 3.4.1, starting at page 34 bottom, you see the same 
SP800-90B test approach that was equally accepted by NIST during formal FIPS 
140-2 validations of other noise sources. Hence, I would conclude that my 
suggested implementation of the noise source is appropriate for a DRBG to be 
compliant to section 8.6.5 of SP800-90A.

But you mention a very important topic: is it and how is it ensured that the 
DRBG is appropriately seeded. This issue is discussed in [2] section 2.1 which 
explains the initial, minimal and full seeded stages of the DRBG.




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