Re: [TLS] Last Call: draft-hoffman-tls-additional-random-ext (Additional Random

Michael D'Errico <> Mon, 26 April 2010 19:47 UTC

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Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010 12:47:01 -0700
From: Michael D'Errico <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] Last Call: draft-hoffman-tls-additional-random-ext (Additional Random
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Marsh Ray wrote:
> :
>> Client hello
>> [...]
>>    random_bytes
>>        28 bytes generated by a secure random number generator.
> Not pseudorandom, "generated by a secure random number generator".

No, if you look at the implementation notes in RFC 5246, you will see that
it really is meant to be pseudo-random:

    Appendix D.  Implementation Notes

    D.1.  Random Number Generation and Seeding

       TLS requires a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator
       (PRNG).  Care must be taken in designing and seeding PRNGs.  PRNGs
       based on secure hash operations, most notably SHA-1, are acceptable,
       but cannot provide more security than the size of the random number
       generator state.

A server especially would not want to use an RNG (over a PRNG) since an
attacker could rob it of all its entropy by sending a flood of bogus

In my own implementation, the only place I use a true RNG is when a client
generates an RSA premaster secret.  (It may also get used in EDH when
generating private keys, but that happens internal to OpenSSL, and I haven't
looked at that code.)