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Yes, you are reading this right. The requests for random value from NIST 800-90 drbgs perturbed the state. If this is a problem you can add a layer that optionally buffers values and always makes constant size requests.


Please bear in mind that this information is all secondhand. I have not looked closely at the original drafts of Hash DRBG (although you might find a draft that's early enough if you peruse the FOIA results in [1]). However, during conversations with folks at NIST I was told that there were certain weaknesses in early drafts of Hash DRBG that were very ...


The way I picture it, a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) has a box of bytes called "internal state". Seeding the PRNG sets that box of bytes to some deterministic function of the seed. Every time you ask the PRNG for another number, the PRNG "stirs the pot" to some new state -- using a deterministic function of the previous state. The PRNG also ...

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