[Python-ideas] Should our default random number generator be secure?

Sturla Molden sturla.molden at gmail.com
Tue Sep 15 13:54:45 CEST 2015

On 15/09/15 09:36, Nathaniel Smith wrote:

> Obviously the thing the scientists worry about is a *strict* subset of
> what the cryptographers are worried about. This is why it is silly to
> worry that a crypto RNG will cause problems for a scientific
> simulation. The cryptographers take the scientists' real goal -- the
> correctness of arbitrary programs like e.g. a monte carlo simulation
> -- *much* more seriously than the scientists themselves do.

No. Cryptographers care about predictability, not the exact 
distribution. Any distribution can be considered randomness with a given 
entropy, but not any distribution is uniform. Only the uniform 
distribution is uniform. That is where our needs fail to meet. 
Cryptographers damn any RNG that allow the internal state to be 
reconstructed. Scientists damn any RNG that do not produce the 
distribution of interest.


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