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Posted on in Categories Link last updated November 10, 2016

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How to speed up OpenSSL/GnuPG Entropy For Random Number Generation On Linux

Posted on in Categories Howto, Open Source, Security last updated November 7, 2016

Entropy is nothing but the measure of “randomness” in a sequence of bits. The PRNG ( pseudorandom number generator ) is a special device (e.g. /dev/random on Linux) to create randomness from server hardware activities. It uses interrupts generated from the keyboard, hard disk, mouse, network and other sources. The random number generator gathers environmental noise from device drivers and other sources into an entropy pool. The randomness usually used for security purposes like creating TLS/SSL keys and the quality source of random bits is critical. For example, OpenSSL APIs can use quality randomness to make your program cryptographically secure. However, a poor source of randomness could result in loss of security. In this post, I will cover haveged and rng-utils/rng-tools to generate random numbers and feed linux random device for your virtual or dedicated Linux server.

Book Review: PAM Mastery

Posted on in Categories Reviews last updated May 19, 2017

PAM Mastery Book ReviewLinux, FreeBSD, and Unix-like systems are multi-user and need some way of authenticating individual users. Back in the old days, this was done in different ways. You need to change each Unix application to use different authentication scheme. Also, authentication schemes differed between a variant of Unix systems. Porting was a nightmare. For example to use Windows Server (Active Directory) or LDAP for authentication you need to make changes to an application. Each application had its way of authenticating users. So Open Group lead to the development of PAM for the Unix-like system. Today Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X and many other Unix-like systems are configured to use a centralized authentication mechanism called Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM). The book “PAM Mastery” deals with the black magic of PAM.