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From: email@example.com (Bill Unruh)
Subject: Re: the FBI and 1 time pads
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 05:12:35 +0000 (UTC)
Organization: A poorly-installed InterNetNews site
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <3F4C55C1.114C@despam.autobahn.mb.ca>
X-Newsreader: NN version 6.5.0 CURRENT #125
"Alex Flanagan" writes:
]> There is a couple of catches though. Delivery of the keys is a big
]> because you must _never_ use a key again and the key must always be at
]> as long as the message. Quality of the keys may also a problem - they must
]> be _truly_ random. You've heard of nice programs which produce "random"
]> numbers? Randomness is a lot more difficult subject than one might think.
]The short story is: computers cannot produce random numbers. One time pads
]require (OTPs) complete randomness in order to be as strong as they can be,
]and because computers can't give us perfect randomness, encryption done by
]them won't be as strong as a good OTP.
Well, not so clear. Eg use the sound card-- amplified gives random bits.
]The long story follows:
]Computers fake random numbers by doing things like measuring the time
]between keystrokes and the time between when packets of information reach
]your computer from the internet and then applying statistics to these
]numbers to make sure they are used in a random-looking way. This isn't just
]a splitting hairs, patterns in pseudorandom numbers (as they are called) are
]detectable. These patterns (call them "trails") can then be "followed back"
Those are not pseudo random numbers. They are actually physical
variables which are probably as random and anything. Ie, unpredictable.
]to the plaintext (assuming you used a computer to generate your OTP).
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