Random 1 on 1 webcam
Every time you establish an SSL connection to, say, E*Trade, there's a string of digits working hard behind the scenes.
As many as 368 bits of random data go into creating the connection - 128 bits to make encryption keys, the rest for authentication codes and the prevention of replay attacks - that's necessary whenever you send your credit card information over an ecommerce site's "secure server" or exchange medical records with your insurance company online.
A hacker trying to determine the next digit in a true random-number sequence will find it computationally infeasible. They date back to ancient Sumeria and Egypt, and were used as the key element in games of chance. As long as they aren't loaded, or the environment isn't otherwise altered to favor certain outcomes, throwing dice produces a reliable stream of random numbers. You can generate the numbers only as fast as you can throw - making, say, a craps game an impractical means for generating large strings.
In the 20th century, the demand for random numbers exploded.
Such systems are often referred to as pseudo-random number generators.
RNGs attempt to get around this shortcoming by generating seeds from a number of seemingly unpredictable sources.
How two math geeks with a lava lamp and a webcam are about to unleash chaos on the Internet.
Here's a random thought: "Everything we do to achieve privacy and security in the computer age depends on random numbers."So says Simon Cooper, an encryption expert and author of .
Start a new process from the same place, and a pattern emerges.Random number sequences have been around for 4,000 years, but never have they been in such demand.That's because they're the building blocks of cryptography."We're trying to give people the ability to generate random numbers themselves," he says."The webcam is a low-cost, readily available stimulus that's not predictable. Anyone who says it's easy is usually doing it wrong."In popular discourse, people often use the word to describe things that aren't random at all.