getrandom(2): Add Linux GRND_INSECURE API flag


getrandom(2): Add Linux GRND_INSECURE API flag

Treat it as a synonym for GRND_NONBLOCK. The reasoning is this:

We have two choices for handling Linux's GRND_INSECURE API flag.

  1. We could ignore it completely (like GRND_RANDOM). However, this might

produce the surprising result of GRND_INSECURE requests blocking, when the
Linux API does not block.

  1. Alternatively, we could treat GRND_INSECURE requests as requests for

GRND_NONBLOCk. Here, the surprising result for Linux programs is that
invocations with unseeded random(4) will produce EAGAIN, rather than

Honoring the flag in the way Linux does seems fraught. If we actually use
the output of a random(4) implementation prior to seeding, we leak some
entropy (in an information theory and also practical sense) from what will
be the initial seed to attackers (or allow attackers to arbitrary DoS
initial seeding, if we don't leak). This seems unacceptable -- it defeats
the purpose of blocking on initial seeding.

Secondary to that concern, before seeding we may have arbitrarily little
entropy collected; producing output from zero or a handful of entropy bits
does not seem particularly useful to userspace.

If userspace can accept garbage, insecure, non-random bytes, they can create
their own insecure garbage with srandom(time(NULL)) or similar. Any program
which would be satisfied with a 3-bit key CTR stream has no need for CSPRNG
bytes. So asking the kernel to produce such an output from the secure
getrandom(2) API seems inane.

For now, we've elected to emulate GRND_INSECURE as an alternative spelling
of GRND_NONBLOCK (2). Consider this API not-quite stable for now. We
guarantee it will never block. But we will attempt to monitor actual port
uptake of this bizarre API and may revise our plans for the unseeded
behavior (prior stable/13 branching).

Approved by: csprng(markm), manpages(bcr)
See also: https://lwn.net/ml/linux-kernel/cover.1577088521.git.luto@kernel.org/
See also: https://lwn.net/ml/linux-kernel/20200107204400.GH3619@mit.edu/
Differential Revision: https://reviews.freebsd.org/D23130


cemJan 12 2020, 8:47 PM
Differential Revision
D23130: getrandom(2): Add Linux GRND_INSECURE API flag
rS356666: Fix the way 'factor' behaves when using OpenSSL to match the description