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Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2017 18:37:50 +0100
From: Mark Rutland <>
To: Theodore Ts'o <>, "Jason A. Donenfeld" <>,
	Eric Biggers <>,
	Linux Crypto Mailing List <>,
	LKML <>,,
	Greg Kroah-Hartman <>,
	David Miller <>,
	Herbert Xu <>,
	Stephan Mueller <>,
	Ard Biesheuvel <>
Subject: Re: Re: [PATCH v3 04/13] crypto/rng: ensure that
 the RNG is ready before using

On Tue, Jun 06, 2017 at 01:03:19PM -0400, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> The other approach is to find a way to have initialized "seed" entropy
> which we can count on at every boot.  The problem is that this is very
> much dependent on how the bootloader works.  It's easy to say "store
> it in the kernel", but where the kernel is stored varies greatly from
> architecture to architecture.  In some cases, the kernel can stored in
> ROM, where it can't be modified at all.
> It might be possible, for example, to store a cryptographic key in a
> UEFI boot-services variable, where the key becomes inaccessible after
> the boot-time services terminate.  But you also need either a reliable
> time-of-day clock, or a reliable counter which is incremented each
> time the system that boots, and which can't be messed with by an
> attacker, or trivially reset by a clueless user/sysadmin.

FWIW, EFI has an (optional) EFI_RNG_PROTOCOL, that we currently use to
seed the kernel's entropy pool. The EFI stub creates a config table with
the entropy, which the kernel reads.

This is re-seeded prior to kexec() to avoid the entropy being recycled.

See commits:

636259880a7e7d34 ("efi: Add support for seeding the RNG from a UEFI config table")
568bc4e87033d232 (" efi/arm*/libstub: Invoke EFI_RNG_PROTOCOL to seed the UEFI RNG table")

Unfortunately, I beleive that support for the protocol is currently rare
in practice.


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