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Saturday, September 2, 2006

HotBits: Proxy Server and randomX Updates, Password Generation

The first installment in what I expect to be a series of updates to the HotBits radioactive random number generator is now in production. This phase updates the HotBits proxy server software running on the server farm machines to a new release which is much more robust in recovering from failure of HotBits generator machines, and has the ability (although this is not yet enabled) to talk to any number of redundant generator machines and also obtain inventory from other proxy servers if no generator is accessible.

The HotBits Secure Server Request page and all of the sample output pages are now XHTML 1.0 Strict documents. (The hexadecimal format result page remains a classic HTML format document to avoid torpedoing applications which parse it with a program, although I have added quotes to the arguments in the logo image at the top of the page.)

The secure request form now allows you to request, in addition to random bytes in hexadecimal, binary, or C language formats, the generation of one or more random passwords with user-specified length, which may be composed of all lower case letters, mixed case letters, alphanumeric characters, or alphanumerics plus generally safe punctuation. Password generation is permitted only on the secure request form—it doesn't make sense to generate genuinely random passwords and then deliver them across an insecure Internet connection on which all the usual suspects and probably some you don't know about are snooping.

Finally, the Java randomX package has been updated for compatibility with present-day Java implementations (tested with Java 2 Runtime Environment build 1.5.0_06-b05) and a few long-standing bugs have been fixed, including the typographic error which led to the negative array subscript in the randomLEcuyer pseudorandom generator when called with a seed greater than 231−1. The randomX document is now compliant XHTML 1.0 Transitional, and all of the class documentation has been rebuilt with a modern version of javadoc.

Posted at September 2, 2006 22:45