NIST looks to strengthen crypto backbone

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is looking to make the backbone of cryptography -- random bit generators -- less predictable.

NIST has released the second draft of a publication that specifies design principles for sources of entropy, which measure the randomness of generated numbers. Without a reliably random RBG, hackers can slice through a user's communications.

"Security flaws in random number generators have been a significant source of vulnerabilities in cryptographic systems over many years, so it's crucially important to have random number generators that work well," said Paul Kocher, chief scientist at the Cryptography Research Division of Rambus, an IT manufacturer.