Cloudflare Uses Lava Lamps to Encrypt the Internet

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    Cloudflare has revealed an interesting way to ensure randomness when generating encryption keys: lava lamps. Instead of relying on code to generate numbers for cryptographic purposes, lava lamps and their random lights, swirling blobs, and movements are recorded and photographs are taken. This footage is then turned into a "stream of random, unpredictable bytes.”

    LavaRand is a system that provides an additional entropy source to our production machines. In the lobby of our San Francisco office, we have a wall of lava lamps (pictured above). A video feed of this wall is used to generate entropy that is made available to our production fleet. We're not the first ones to do this. Our LavaRand system was inspired by a similar system first proposed and built by Silicon Graphics and patented in 1996 (the patent has since expired).
     
  2. RogueTadhg

    RogueTadhg [H]ard|Gawd

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  3. Goodlookinguy

    Goodlookinguy [H]Lite

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    That's actually pretty creative. I personally have several ways of doing randomness when I was developing games which don't involve such a convoluted process, but with the operation Cloudflare is running, it makes sense.
     
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  4. viper1152012

    viper1152012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I worked with something like this that pooled google image search for random stuff...

    Really cool to see it put into use
     
  5. ianken

    ianken [H]ard|Gawd

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    Very cool.

    Or you could use atomic decay and some sensors.

    Edit, and I see later in the video they do just that in one of their other offices. Sweet.
     
  6. wootius

    wootius [H]Lite

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    Random.org not good enough?
     
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  7. Jovian

    Jovian Limp Gawd

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    Thats a pretty flashy and elaborate way of handling the issue. I believe its mostly for marketing yet still functions. Kudos Cloudflare.
     
  8. SvenBent

    SvenBent 2[H]4U

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    i remember articles about this back in the 90's why is it news aa quater of a decade later.. hmm better watch it :D

    -- edit --
    They actually do mention it was done back in 1996

    i alwys wondered if you cna use the small voltage peak and dips as a way to make randomness as well
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  9. Full Otto

    Full Otto [H]Lite

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    It's essentially the military does using random atmospheric data, but way more fun.
     
  10. AaronGant

    AaronGant Limp Gawd

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    I'm more surprised they use video tape.
     
  11. blkt

    blkt Gawd

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    More noise yields more randomness.
     
  12. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Meh they need to spend the money to get down to measuring quantum properties such as the location of electrons for true randomness. Is anything more random than QM?
     
  13. KD5ZXG

    KD5ZXG Limp Gawd

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    XOR a pair of Parametrons started up on nothing but a clock pump and thermal noise.

    Binary phase shift keyed oscillating logic, phase locked to half the pump frequency.
    But we can't guess in advance wether it will take a lock to even or odd clock cycles.
    Don't have to be fancy high tech. Coils and caps of 1950's vintage got it done.

    Quantum Parametrons exist now. They are kind of a big deal too, but random don't
    need any such nonsense. Any wall of lava lamps will do, sunspots, or a tank of fish.
    But there is an advantage to a system that can be quickly reset and give new result
    that has no predictable evolution from another recent state.

    Compare any two similar things that aren't predictable. Then use XOR to strip away
    correlated signals than come from outside the experiment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  14. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just one teenage girl will create more than enough randomness. Let her wander around the server room :D
     
  15. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

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    In other news, hackers exploit the building's power system created managed pulses and thus their own encryption.
     
  16. mord

    mord Limp Gawd

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  17. kidstechno3

    kidstechno3 Limp Gawd

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  18. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    since they are wanting "noise" to help create randomness, then why not place a giant multi person hookah in front of it? all the smoke will help enhance the scene
     
  19. Loose Nut

    Loose Nut Limp Gawd

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    Rip off from Johnny Mnemonic movie
     
  20. jwalk6

    jwalk6 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I do hope that's uncompressed video they're feeding into that algorithm. Otherwise you'd be introducing order into chaos.