NetRandom generates, delivers true random numbers for crypto operations

At RSA Conference, Whitewood Encryption Systems has launched netRandom, a suite of products that transforms the way high-quality true random numbers are accessed across the traditional datacenter, cloud, mobile and embedded systems.

true random numbers

The new product addresses a potential weakness in today’s crypto-security systems. It gives enterprise security teams, cloud/hosting providers and security product vendors the opportunity to move beyond the current ad-hoc methods of generating random numbers. Today, the quality of random numbers, and therefore the security of the crypto-systems that use them, is dependent on individual host machines and their local environment, leading to inconsistency and doubt.

Random number generation, a fundamental process that underlies every cryptographic application in use today, is typically performed by deterministic software processes within the operating system. These otherwise predictable outputs are randomized by capturing noise or other unpredictable events from the local environment.

However, the degree to which these sources of randomness are truly unpredictable and random varies enormously and is notoriously difficult to measure. With the widespread adoption of virtualization, migration to cloud computing, as well as the potential for the Internet of Things (IoT), the challenge of capturing enough high-quality randomness to generate sufficient true random numbers becomes more severe. This creates many potential points of attack and breaches.

Whitewood’s netRandom product consists of two components: the netRandom Client and the netRandom Server. Applications or IoT devices can use the netRandom Client to request secure delivery of true random numbers over the network from a shared and central netRandom Server.

Alternatively, the netRandom Client can request random numbers over the network and feed them as true random seeds into the local operating system entropy pool. This latter approach helps to ensure that existing random number services such as Linux dev/urandom and dev/random deliver the highest quality random numbers without the risk of blocking — benefiting existing applications that are now assured to receive true random numbers without the need for modification.

The netRandom system:

  • Offers access to high-quality random numbers across an entire application infrastructure
  • Establishes an in-house random number service capability to supply internal and external requirements
  • Provides secure network delivery, protecting against eavesdropping and manipulation
  • Enables applications to use existing operating system services such as dev/urandom and dev/random with confidence
  • Removes dependency on hardware platforms and local environment for entropy generation
  • Incorporates the Whitewood Entropy Engine, a quantum-powered random number generator (QRNG) as a core component of the netRandom Server

“Whitewood netRandom makes it easy to boost existing random number services across a wide variety of platforms and applications, making true random numbers a broadly available resource to distributed applications,” said Richard Moulds, Vice President of Strategy of Whitewood.

“Making truly random numbers is surprisingly difficult but is only part of any solution. Real value comes from the ability to ensure that they are accessible to applications, at the right place, and right time with little or no modification. Ensuring that crypto applications have access to true random numbers is a standard of due care and with netRandom, Whitewood now makes this a practical objective.”

RSA Conference 2016