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SubjectRe: Linux 5.3-rc8
On Thu, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:25 AM Theodore Y. Ts'o <tytso@mit.edu> wrote:
>
> Hmm, one thought might be GRND_FAILSAFE, which will wait up to two
> minutes before returning "best efforts" randomness and issuing a huge
> massive warning if it is triggered?

Yeah, based on (by now) _years_ of experience with people mis-using
"get me random numbers", I think the sense of a new flag needs to be
"yeah, I'm willing to wait for it".

Because most people just don't want to wait for it, and most people
don't think about it, and we need to make the default be for that
"don't think about it" crowd, with the people who ask for randomness
sources for a secure key having to very clearly and very explicitly
say "Yes, I understand that this can take minutes and can only be done
long after boot".

Even then people will screw that up because they copy code, or some
less than gifted rodent writes a library and decides "my library is so
important that I need that waiting sooper-sekrit-secure random
number", and then people use that broken library by mistake without
realizing that it's not going to be reliable at boot time.

An alternative might be to make getrandom() just return an error
instead of waiting. Sure, fill the buffer with "as random as we can"
stuff, but then return -EINVAL because you called us too early.

Linus

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