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Security Linux

Linus Responds To RdRand Petition With Scorn 566

Posted by timothy
from the never-a-dull-moment dept.
hypnosec writes "Linus Torvalds, in response to a petition on Change.org to remove RdRand from /dev/random, has lambasted the petitioner by called him ignorant for not understanding the code in the Linux Kernel. Kyle Condon from the UK raised a petition on Change.org to get Linus to remove RdRand from /dev/random in a bid 'to improve the overall security of the linux kernel.' In his response, Torvalds asked Condon and the supporters of the petition to gain an understanding of Linux drivers and cryptography, and then 'come back here and admit to the world that you were wrong.' Torvalds stressed that kernel maintainers knew what they were doing and the petitioner didn't. Torvalds, in a similar outburst just yesterday, hoped that 'ARM SoC hardware designers all die in some incredibly painful accident.' This came in response to a message from Kevin Hilman when he noted that there were quite a few conflicts in the ARM SoC pull request for Linux 3.12 which were a result of the platform changes conflicting with driver changes going in to the V4L tree."
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Linus Responds To RdRand Petition With Scorn

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  • by CajunArson (465943) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @09:43AM (#44807271) Journal

    Shouldn't we be welcoming RdRand with open arms? It's a mathematically proven high-quality random number generator that lets chips like Ivy Bridge & Haswell produce large amounts of true random data (not a simple PRNG data) at multi-gigabit speeds.

    There are some excellent slides describing RdRand here: http://software.intel.com/en-us/tags/20757 [intel.com]

    I would strongly recommend using it wherever feasible as it is a great boon to security in Linux.

    So is some AMD/ARM fanboy saying that it's not fair that AMD/ARM haven't bothered to implement RdRand yet so therefore nobody should be allowed to use it? How about we extend that logic to other pieces of hardware? Say, when AMD comes out with an improved GPU, let's say that Linux shouldn't support it because Intel doesn't have the same hardware.. fair is fair right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @09:47AM (#44807323)

    I didn't think God played dice.

  • by pjt33 (739471) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @09:53AM (#44807385)

    It's a mathematically proven high-quality random number generator that lets chips like Ivy Bridge & Haswell produce large amounts of true random data (not a simple PRNG data) at multi-gigabit speeds.

    Maybe. Or maybe it's deliberately weakened by Intel in response to a request from NSA in an effort to produce something akin to the Debian weak key problem. Can you audit your CPU to see whether the implementation is the one which the proof belongs to?

  • by gatkinso (15975) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @09:53AM (#44807387)

    ARM SoC hardware designers world wide smile into their hand.

  • by MrDoh! (71235) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @09:56AM (#44807439) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, it's just Finnish humour that's being taken badly. I know he's been in the US for a long time, but he's not being mean, it's just a way of expression that it appears many don't get. !Still, the AC could always email Linus and ask him to change, I'm sure he'd appreciate the input.
  • by wjcofkc (964165) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @10:12AM (#44807611)
    I would first like to point out that if you really read this particular response, he was not as flaming as is being reported. Sounds like someone is exaggerating over a grudge. However...

    Of all modern figures, Linus Torvalds is close to the top of my list of people who I respect and admire the most. His work has truly changed the world for the better. Can you imagine what things would be like if Linux had never happened? I shudder at the very notion. Regardless of this, Linus has in fact shown over the years that he can have an unreasonably short fuse. He is not RMS, but he's not far and when he does take a hard-line bad attitude stance, I sometimes fear that it is at the detriment of potential progress. Important, high profile maintainers have quit over the years due to his attitude, and it would be nice if he could be more diplomatic in those situations where he unnecessarily goes off like a stick of dynamite. I think there is a degree where his power has gone to his head. But as long as Linux keeps marching forward, I am happy enough with that.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @10:53AM (#44808023)

    Are you suggesting that the kernel should kill of application in userspace using this instruction? Are there any other instructions you morally object to?

    Op code 666

  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @10:57AM (#44808059)

    I'd read TMZ.

    Man, I can't wait until the /. submitters discover Theo de Raadt.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:08AM (#44808191) Homepage

    That is my real name you insensitive clod!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:18AM (#44808309)

    The Truth Will Out!

    Oh, come now. It'll only out if you accidentally the whole thing.

  • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:29AM (#44808451)

    "Being involved in popular science fiction makes me an authority on philosophy." - William Shatner

  • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @11:50AM (#44808711)

    '"ARM SoC hardware designers all die in some incredibly painful accident."

    I mean, maybe Linus hasn't had the experience of losing someone in an incredibly painful accident.

    Well, how is he supposed to hope people die? Being batted by soft pillows while sitting in the comfy chair?

  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday September 10, 2013 @12:07PM (#44808923) Homepage

    Indeed. We tried to warn the world about this almost twenty years ago, but nobody listened.

    RDRAND will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, but it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream goes melty. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, screw up the tracking on your television and use subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD's you try to play.

    It will give your ex-girlfriend your new phone number. It will mix Kool-aid into your fishtank. It will drink all your beer and leave its socks out on the coffee table when there's company coming over. It will put a dead kitten in the back pocket of your good suit pants and hide your car keys when you are late for work.

    RDRAND will make you fall in love with a penguin. It will give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will pour sugar in your gas tank and shave off both your eyebrows while dating your girlfriend behind your back and billing the dinner and hotel room to your Discover card.

    It will seduce your grandmother. It does not matter if she is dead, such is the power of RDRAND, it reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear.

    It moves your car randomly around parking lots so you can't find it. It will kick your dog. It will leave libidinous messages on your boss's voice mail in your voice! It is insidious and subtle. It is dangerous and terrifying to behold. It is also a rather interesting shade of mauve.

    RDRAND will give you Dutch Elm disease. It will leave the toilet seat up. It will make a batch of Methanphedime in your bathtub and then leave bacon cooking on the stove while it goes out to chase gradeschoolers with your new snowblower.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid

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