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Date: 07 Jan 2009 08:25:03
From: Porsche_Dan
Subject: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?

www.bmm.com.au
www.cigital.com
http://www.tstglobal.com/
http://www.itechlabs.com.au/

And I guess the question is: Why do the top Poker sites all use different
testing services for RNG validation?

http://www.meaning.com/wiki/Truly_random

The lack of sufficient entropy is the Achilles Heel of cryptography and
anyone who considers arithmetical methods of random sequence generation
is, of course, in a state of sin. (D. Knuth, The Art of Computer
Programming: Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition,
Addison-Wesley, 1981.) With a tip of the hat to Bruce Schneier:

Random sequence generators [in any modern computer] are not random because
they don't have to be. Most simple applications, like computer games, need
so few random numbers that they hardly notice. However, cryptography is
extremely sensitive to the properties of random number generators. Use a
poor random sequence generator and you start getting weird correlations
and strange results. (S. K. Park and K. W. Miller, "Random Number
Generators: Good Ones Are Hard to Find," Communications of the ACM,v. 31,
n. 10, Oct 1988, pp. 1192-1201. I. Peterson, "Monte Carlo Physics: A
Cautionary Lesson," Science News, v. 142, n. 25, 19 Dec 1992, p. 422.) If
security depends on your random number generator, weird correlations and
strange results are the last things you want.

The problem is that a random number generator doesn't produce a random
sequence. It probably doesn't produce anything that looks even remotely
like a random sequence. Of course, it is impossible to produce somthing
truly random on a computer. Knuth quotes John von Neumann as saying:
"Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is,
of course, in a state of sin." (Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming:
Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1981.)
Computers are deterministic beasts : stuff goes in one end, completely
predictable operations occur inside, and different stuff comes out the
other end. Put the same stuff in on two separate occasions and the same
stuff comes out both times. Put the same stuff into two identical
computers, and the same stuff comes out of both of them. There are only a
finite number of states in which a computer can exist (a [very] large
finite number, but a finite number nonetheless), and the stuff that comes
out will always be a deterministic function of the stuff that went in and
the computer's current state. That means any random sequence generator on
a computer (at least, on a Turing machine) is, by definition, periodic.
Anything that is periodic is, by definition, predictable. And, if
something is predictable, it can't be random. A true random sequence
generator requires some random input; a computer can't provide that.

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Date: 07 Jan 2009 16:55:59
From: richlp
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7, 8:25=A0am, "Porsche_Dan" <porsche....@gmail.com > wrote:
> Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
> grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?
>
> www.bmm.com.auwww.cigital.comhttp://www.tstglobal.com/http://www.itechlab=
s.com.au/
>
> And I guess the question is: Why do the top Poker sites all use different
> testing services for RNG validation?
>
> http://www.meaning.com/wiki/Truly_random
>
> The lack of sufficient entropy is the Achilles Heel of cryptography and
> anyone who considers arithmetical methods of random sequence generation
> is, of course, in a state of sin. (D. Knuth, The Art of Computer
> Programming: Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition,
> Addison-Wesley, 1981.) With a tip of the hat to Bruce Schneier:
>
> Random sequence generators [in any modern computer] are not random becaus=
e
> they don't have to be. Most simple applications, like computer games, nee=
d
> so few random numbers that they hardly notice. However, cryptography is
> extremely sensitive to the properties of random number generators. Use a
> poor random sequence generator and you start getting weird correlations
> and strange results. (S. K. Park and K. W. Miller, "Random Number
> Generators: Good Ones Are Hard to Find," Communications of the ACM,v. 31,
> n. 10, Oct 1988, pp. 1192-1201. I. Peterson, "Monte Carlo Physics: A
> Cautionary Lesson," Science News, v. 142, n. 25, 19 Dec 1992, p. 422.) If
> security depends on your random number generator, weird correlations and
> strange results are the last things you want.
>
> The problem is that a random number generator doesn't produce a random
> sequence. It probably doesn't produce anything that looks even remotely
> like a random sequence. Of course, it is impossible to produce somthing
> truly random on a computer. Knuth quotes John von Neumann as saying:
> "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is,
> of course, in a state of sin." (Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming:
> Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1981.)
> Computers are deterministic beasts : stuff goes in one end, completely
> predictable operations occur inside, and different stuff comes out the
> other end. Put the same stuff in on two separate occasions and the same
> stuff comes out both times. Put the same stuff into two identical
> computers, and the same stuff comes out of both of them. There are only a
> finite number of states in which a computer can exist (a [very] large
> finite number, but a finite number nonetheless), and the stuff that comes
> out will always be a deterministic function of the stuff that went in and
> the computer's current state. That means any random sequence generator on
> a computer (at least, on a Turing machine) is, by definition, periodic.
> Anything that is periodic is, by definition, predictable. And, if
> something is predictable, it can't be random. A true random sequence
> generator requires some random input; a computer can't provide that.
>
> ----=A0
> * kill-files, watch-lists, favorites, and more..www.recgroups.com

What's the point if the RNG is truly random or pseudo-random. Unless
you can predict the sequence the numbers are random to all who
interact with them.


 
Date: 07 Jan 2009 10:50:44
From: Beatsy
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On 7 Jan, 16:25, "Porsche_Dan" <porsche....@gmail.com > wrote:
> Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
> grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?
>
> www.bmm.com.auwww.cigital.comhttp://www.tstglobal.com/http://www.itechlab=
s.com.au/
>
> And I guess the question is: Why do the top Poker sites all use different
> testing services for RNG validation?
>
> http://www.meaning.com/wiki/Truly_random
>
> The lack of sufficient entropy is the Achilles Heel of cryptography and
> anyone who considers arithmetical methods of random sequence generation
> is, of course, in a state of sin. (D. Knuth, The Art of Computer
> Programming: Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition,
> Addison-Wesley, 1981.) With a tip of the hat to Bruce Schneier:
>
> Random sequence generators [in any modern computer] are not random becaus=
e
> they don't have to be. Most simple applications, like computer games, nee=
d
> so few random numbers that they hardly notice. However, cryptography is
> extremely sensitive to the properties of random number generators. Use a
> poor random sequence generator and you start getting weird correlations
> and strange results. (S. K. Park and K. W. Miller, "Random Number
> Generators: Good Ones Are Hard to Find," Communications of the ACM,v. 31,
> n. 10, Oct 1988, pp. 1192-1201. I. Peterson, "Monte Carlo Physics: A
> Cautionary Lesson," Science News, v. 142, n. 25, 19 Dec 1992, p. 422.) If
> security depends on your random number generator, weird correlations and
> strange results are the last things you want.
>
> The problem is that a random number generator doesn't produce a random
> sequence. It probably doesn't produce anything that looks even remotely
> like a random sequence. Of course, it is impossible to produce somthing
> truly random on a computer. Knuth quotes John von Neumann as saying:
> "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is,
> of course, in a state of sin." (Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming:
> Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1981.)
> Computers are deterministic beasts : stuff goes in one end, completely
> predictable operations occur inside, and different stuff comes out the
> other end. Put the same stuff in on two separate occasions and the same
> stuff comes out both times. Put the same stuff into two identical
> computers, and the same stuff comes out of both of them. There are only a
> finite number of states in which a computer can exist (a [very] large
> finite number, but a finite number nonetheless), and the stuff that comes
> out will always be a deterministic function of the stuff that went in and
> the computer's current state. That means any random sequence generator on
> a computer (at least, on a Turing machine) is, by definition, periodic.
> Anything that is periodic is, by definition, predictable. And, if
> something is predictable, it can't be random. A true random sequence
> generator requires some random input; a computer can't provide that.
>
> ----=A0
> * kill-files, watch-lists, favorites, and more..www.recgroups.com

A couple of decades ago, I worked as a s/w engineer with a company
that produced kit for the bingo industry. One of the hardware products
was a rackmount RNG, used to digitally simulate randomly picked bingo
balls. The bingo caller application queried the h/w RNG across a
standard network to get the next random ball number...

The randomness was based on the output of noisy diode. No seed, no
repetition, and not even theoretically predictable (and certified
truly random etc).

I'd have thought the poker sites would use these. Don't they? Are all
online poker RNG's s/w based?

Not that it *really* matters - pseudo random is entirely fit for
purpose in all practical senses.


  
Date: 07 Jan 2009 14:52:19
From: Neverchop
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker

"Beatsy" <steve_beats@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:d77a5da4-e7a4-430c-9a12-d601c180b988@v39g2000pro.googlegroups.com...

> I'd have thought the poker sites would use these. Don't they? Are all
> online poker RNG's s/w based?
>
> Not that it *really* matters - pseudo random is entirely fit for
> purpose in all practical senses.

I'm pretty sure that FT uses a hardware based sys.








  
Date: 07 Jan 2009 11:09:21
From: XaQ Morphy
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7 2009 12:50 PM, Beatsy wrote:

> I'd have thought the poker sites would use these. Don't they? Are all
> online poker RNG's s/w based?

Stars has this listed on their site somewhere. I just looked at it a few
days ago to answer a question from a friend. I can't get to the site now
but I remember it saying they use 2 seeds: a hardware seed as well as
collections of mouse movements and user input from the site itself.

---
Morphy
xaqmorphy@donkeymanifesto.com
http://www.donkeymanifesto.com
"SHUT UP IDIOT" --The Great Patholio

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Date: 07 Jan 2009 11:29:44
From: Scott/sjakma
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7 2009 2:09 PM, XaQ Morphy wrote:

> On Jan 7 2009 12:50 PM, Beatsy wrote:
>
> > I'd have thought the poker sites would use these. Don't they? Are all
> > online poker RNG's s/w based?
>
> Stars has this listed on their site somewhere. I just looked at it a few
> days ago to answer a question from a friend. I can't get to the site now
> but I remember it saying they use 2 seeds: a hardware seed as well as
> collections of mouse movements and user input from the site itself.
>
> ---
> Morphy
> xaqmorphy@donkeymanifesto.com
> http://www.donkeymanifesto.com
> "SHUT UP IDIOT" --The Great Patholio


Stars uses an Intel product that uses thermal noise as an entropy source.

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Date: 07 Jan 2009 11:30:38
From: Scott/sjakma
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
>
>
> Stars uses an Intel product that uses thermal noise as an entropy source.

along with mouse movements.

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Date: 07 Jan 2009 17:58:54
From: Gareth Erskine-Jones
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Wed, 07 Jan 2009 08:25:03 -0800, "Porsche_Dan"
<porsche.dan@gmail.com > wrote:

>Are there any cryptography people out there?

I know a bit about it.

- snip -
>The problem is that a random number generator doesn't produce a random
>sequence.

Correct.

>It probably doesn't produce anything that looks even remotely
>like a random sequence.

Incorrect - a decent random number generator produces sequences that
are for all practical purposes indistinguishable from random
sequences. This is why security systems like RSA's SecurID are widely
used in situations where security is extremely important.

>Computers are deterministic beasts : stuff goes in one end, completely
>predictable operations occur inside, and different stuff comes out the
>other end. Put the same stuff in on two separate occasions and the same
>stuff comes out both times. Put the same stuff into two identical
>computers, and the same stuff comes out of both of them. There are only a
>finite number of states in which a computer can exist (a [very] large
>finite number, but a finite number nonetheless), and the stuff that comes
>out will always be a deterministic function of the stuff that went in and
>the computer's current state. That means any random sequence generator on
>a computer (at least, on a Turing machine) is, by definition, periodic.
>Anything that is periodic is, by definition, predictable.

Yes, but once you have a decent (meaning one that hasn't been broken)
random number generating algorithm, then to predict the next number,
you need to know the seed used, and whereabouts in the sequence you
are. The fact that the sequence is periodic doesn't matter if the
period is large enough.

> And, if
>something is predictable, it can't be random. A true random sequence
>generator requires some random input; a computer can't provide that.

But it doesn't need to be random - it needs to share some
characteristics with a random sequence (e.g. if the sequence is of
decimal digits, then the digit 6 should occur roughly one tenth of the
time, any two digit sequence should occur roughtly one hundredth of
the time etc.).

If an online gaming company tried to write its own RNG algorithm, then
they are likely to run into problems (just as if they tried to write
their own encryption algorithm) - it's much better to use an off the
shelf algorithm which has been subject to a lot of scrutiny by
professional cryptographers.

If you wanted to cheat in an online poker game, predicting the output
of the RNG is by far the hardest way to go - simple collusion is more
likely to work.

GEJ


  
Date: 08 Jan 2009 21:35:55
From: Owner
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
Actually, you don't necessarily have to know the seed.

From the wikipedia article on the Montreal Casino ...=20

Keno scandal
In April 1994, Daniel Corriveau managed to win $600,000 CAD playing the=20
Casino de Montr=E9al keno. He was able to pick 19 of the 20 winning=20
numbers three times in a row. Corriveau claims he used a computer and=20
Chaos Theory to discern a pattern in the sequence of numbers. It was=20
later found that the sequence was made easier to predict because the=20
Casino was using an inadequate electronic pseudorandom number generator.=20
In fact, the electronic keno machine was reset every morning with the=20
same seed number, producing the same sequence of numbers every day.=20
Corriveau received his winnings after investigators cleared him of any=20
wrongdoing.

In article <afq9m45h7e9kj48qin627b4m3au8itvsln@4ax.com >, gej@uberdog.net=20
says... >=20

> Yes, but once you have a decent (meaning one that hasn't been broken)
> random number generating algorithm, then to predict the next number,
> you need to know the seed used, and whereabouts in the sequence you
> are. The fact that the sequence is periodic doesn't matter if the
> period is large enough.
>=20

Geoff




 
Date: 07 Jan 2009 08:59:11
From: Scott/sjakma
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7 2009 11:25 AM, Porsche_Dan wrote:

> Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
> grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?
>
> www.bmm.com.au
> www.cigital.com
> http://www.tstglobal.com/
> http://www.itechlabs.com.au/


I just contacted a few friends who are considered experts in this field
and all agree that Cigital is a legit company that does good work. They
have never heard of the three other companies.

_______________________________________________________________________ 
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Date: 07 Jan 2009 12:05:05
From: Porsche_Dan
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7, 8:59=A0am, "Scott/sjakma" <sc...@scottadams.com > wrote:
> On Jan 7 2009 11:25 AM, Porsche_Dan wrote:
>
> > Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
> > grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?
>
> >www.bmm.com.au
> >www.cigital.com
> >http://www.tstglobal.com/
> >http://www.itechlabs.com.au/
>
> I just contacted a few friends who are considered experts in this field
> and all agree that Cigital is a legit company that does good work. =A0 Th=
ey
> have never heard of the three other companies.
>
> _______________________________________________________________________=
=A0
> : the next generation of web-newsreaders :http://www.recgroups.com

FYI: PokerStars uses Cigital and Bmm, FTP uses tstglobal and Party
uses itechlabs.



 
Date: 07 Jan 2009 08:45:37
From: FangBanger
Subject: Re: Random Number Generators and Online Poker
On Jan 7 2009 10:25 AM, Porsche_Dan wrote:

> Are there any cryptography people out there? I'm still trying to get a
> grip on the whole RNG thing. Do you know these testing organizations?
>
> www.bmm.com.au
> www.cigital.com
> http://www.tstglobal.com/
> http://www.itechlabs.com.au/
>
> And I guess the question is: Why do the top Poker sites all use different
> testing services for RNG validation?

If you assume that these regulatory agencies are legite , using just one
for all the sites would invite undetectable cheating , like what the guy
did who worked for the Nevada Gaming Commision, when he as a regulator
slipped a program in cheat machines he was supposed to be monitoring .

I think the regulatory agencies are shams used to instill a false sense of
security. Kinda like Mall Cops ..supposed to look good ..totally useless!!


>
> http://www.meaning.com/wiki/Truly_random
>
> The lack of sufficient entropy is the Achilles Heel of cryptography and
> anyone who considers arithmetical methods of random sequence generation
> is, of course, in a state of sin. (D. Knuth, The Art of Computer
> Programming: Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition,
> Addison-Wesley, 1981.) With a tip of the hat to Bruce Schneier:
>
> Random sequence generators [in any modern computer] are not random because
> they don't have to be. Most simple applications, like computer games, need
> so few random numbers that they hardly notice. However, cryptography is
> extremely sensitive to the properties of random number generators. Use a
> poor random sequence generator and you start getting weird correlations
> and strange results. (S. K. Park and K. W. Miller, "Random Number
> Generators: Good Ones Are Hard to Find," Communications of the ACM,v. 31,
> n. 10, Oct 1988, pp. 1192-1201. I. Peterson, "Monte Carlo Physics: A
> Cautionary Lesson," Science News, v. 142, n. 25, 19 Dec 1992, p. 422.) If
> security depends on your random number generator, weird correlations and
> strange results are the last things you want.
>
> The problem is that a random number generator doesn't produce a random
> sequence. It probably doesn't produce anything that looks even remotely
> like a random sequence. Of course, it is impossible to produce somthing
> truly random on a computer. Knuth quotes John von Neumann as saying:
> "Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is,
> of course, in a state of sin." (Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming:
> Volume 2, Seminumerical Algorithms, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley, 1981.)
> Computers are deterministic beasts : stuff goes in one end, completely
> predictable operations occur inside, and different stuff comes out the
> other end. Put the same stuff in on two separate occasions and the same
> stuff comes out both times. Put the same stuff into two identical
> computers, and the same stuff comes out of both of them. There are only a
> finite number of states in which a computer can exist (a [very] large
> finite number, but a finite number nonetheless), and the stuff that comes
> out will always be a deterministic function of the stuff that went in and
> the computer's current state. That means any random sequence generator on
> a computer (at least, on a Turing machine) is, by definition, periodic.
> Anything that is periodic is, by definition, predictable. And, if
> something is predictable, it can't be random. A true random sequence
> generator requires some random input; a computer can't provide that.


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Voltaire

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