Cloudflare Has A Wall Full Of Lava Lamps For Encryption
The encryption market is worth multiple billion dollars and is looking for high-quality randomness as a vital resource. So, Cloudflare has a wall full of lava lamps for encryption.
Cloudflare, the internet security and performance colossus that filed for its initial public offering on August 15th, is a component of this industry.
If it weren't for it, the corporation wouldn't be able to successfully provide protection for as much as 10 percent of the entire web.
The Wall of Entropy is a feature that may be found in the San Francisco office of Cloudflare.
A camera films the four rows of lava lamps as they switch on and off, capturing not only the hot wax bubbling in the lamps but also the atmosphere of the randomness of the workplace where they are located.
The sunlight coming through a window, not too far away, shifts. People can be seen moving by.
Consider the absence of patterns whenever you think about randomness means there is no pattern just some random bulbs lighting and vice versa.
Entropy can be defined as the degree to which a system lacks any discernible pattern.
A source with high entropy is entirely chaotic, cannot be predicted, and possesses what is known as real randomness.
The lava lamps at Cloudflare are creating this genuine randomness.
They add more layers of randomness to produce entropic chaos with the goal of making it impossible for future hackers to replicate it.
At the end of the day, Cloudflare only uses one number, which is a random number.
Why do organizations like Cloudflare and others go to such great lengths to generate random numbers that can be trusted?
“The reason you need randomness is you need unpredictability. You need an attacker not to be able to guess some important part of the communication,”
Graham-Cumming offers an explanation.
And ultimately, this is the issue with computers and humans alike; both are simply too predictable.
When it comes to the security of encryption, randomness is of the utmost importance.
Each new key that a computer uses to encrypt data needs to be completely random in order to prevent an adversary from figuring out the key and being able to decrypt the data they have encrypted.
On the other hand, computers are intended to produce results that are predictable and consistent with the data that is fed into them.
They are not designed to generate random data, which is a need for producing encryption keys that are unpredictable.
A source of random data is required for a computer in order for it to be able to generate the unpredictable and chaotic data that is required for robust encryption.
Because of the unpredictability of the events that take place in the actual world, the so-called "real world" is an excellent source of randomness.
As may be anticipated, lava lamps always produce unpredictable results.
The "lava" inside of a lava lamp never assumes the same form twice; as a result, viewing a collection of lava lamps is an excellent way to collect data that is representative of a random distribution.
Since predictable data can be deduced, encrypted data need to have the appearance of being completely random data.
If there is any pattern, such as certain values being used for encryption more than others or values consistently appearing in a certain order, then the mathematical analysis will pick up on the pattern and allow an attacker to have a much easier time guessing the key that is used for encryption.
If there is no pattern, then the mathematical analysis will not pick up on the pattern.
Basically, if data that has been encrypted can be predicted, then the data may as well have already been stolen.
The method of encryption is a straightforward one: data that has been encrypted, when combined with the appropriate key, results in data that has been decrypted, and the decrypted data is identical to the data that existed before it was encrypted.
However, the encryption keys that are utilized have to be completely random.
A pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) that is cryptographically secure, also known as a CSPRNG, is a PRNG that satisfies stricter requirements, making it a more reliable tool for use in cryptography.
A PRNG might not be able to fulfill both of the following requirements, but a CSPRNG does:
- To demonstrate its lack of predictability, it must first pass a series of statistical randomness tests.
- Even if an attacker has some knowledge of the program, they should not be able to predict the outputs of the CSPRNG.
A Reddit user TheMacMan shared, "It happens. They run 10% of all internet traffic through their platform. They also mitigate some of the largest cyberattacks in the world."
A Reddit user shared some really interesting information about the news that Cloudflare has a wall full of lava lamps for encryption, "These lamps are mostly just for show. Cloudflare has 3 major offices with unique encryption mechanisms in place. Their London office takes photos of a double-pendulum system - these movements are unpredictable and are used in their encryption just like these lava lamps. Their Singapore office measures the radioactive decay of a pellet of uranium (a small harmless amount) for their encryption purposes. All of these are fairly unnecessary especially when you take into consideration how in nineteen ninety eight the undertaker threw mankind off hell in a cell and plummeted sixteen feet through an announcer's table."
Yes, Cloudflare uses Lava lamps. The data obtained from the lava lamps are used as part of the cryptographic seed in the CSPRNG that Cloudflare employs in order to generate encryption keys for the SSL/TLS encryption protocol.
Yes, they do. A wall covered in lava lights helps encrypt up to ten percent of the entire internet at Cloudflare, which is located in San Francisco, California. The cool, unpredictable movement of the lighting is captured by cameras, which then translates that movement into an uncrackable code.
The bulbs are photographed at predetermined intervals by a camera, which sends the images to servers. The servers then utilize the photographs to construct a sequence of random numbers, and voilà: you now have the fundamental building block of encryption. As they go around, the blobs of lava transform into cryptographic seeds.
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