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Date: Thu, 6 Feb 2020 03:48:01 -0800
From: Kees Cook <>
To: Andy Lutomirski <>
Cc: Kristen Carlson Accardi <>,,,,,,,,,
Subject: Re: [RFC PATCH 03/11] x86/boot: Allow a "silent" kaslr random byte

On Wed, Feb 05, 2020 at 05:08:55PM -0800, Andy Lutomirski wrote:
> > On Feb 5, 2020, at 2:39 PM, Kristen Carlson Accardi <> wrote:
> > 
> > From: Kees Cook <>
> > 
> > Under earlyprintk, each RNG call produces a debug report line. When
> > shuffling hundreds of functions, this is not useful information (each
> > line is identical and tells us nothing new). Instead, allow for a NULL
> > "purpose" to suppress the debug reporting.
> Have you counted how many RDRAND calls this causes?  RDRAND is
> exceedingly slow on all CPUs I’ve looked at. The whole “RDRAND
> has great bandwidth” marketing BS actually means that it has decent
> bandwidth if all CPUs hammer it at the same time. The latency is abysmal.
> I have asked Intel to improve this, but the latency of that request will
> be quadrillions of cycles :)

In an earlier version of this series, it was called once per function
section (so, about 50,000 times). The (lack of) speed was quite

> I would suggest adding a little ChaCha20 DRBG or similar to the KASLR
> environment instead. What crypto primitives are available there?

Agreed. The simple PRNG in the next patch was most just a POC initially,
but Kristen kept it due to its debugging properties (specifying an
external seed). Pulling in ChaCha20 seems like a good approach.

Kees Cook

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