Not-So-Random Numbers in Virtualized Linux and the Whirlwind RNG

Provided by: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Topic: Data Centers
Format: PDF
Virtualized environments are widely thought to cause problems for software-based Random Number Generators (RNGs), due to use of Virtual Machine (VM) snapshots as well as fewer and believed-to-be lower quality entropy sources. Despite this, the authors are unaware of any published analysis of the security of critical RNGs when running in VMs. They fill this gap, using measurements of Linux's RNG systems (without the aid of hardware RNGs, the most common use case today) on Xen, VMware, and Amazon EC2.

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