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Einstein's dice and casino attacks in practice

Einstein's dice and casino attacks in practice

Posted May 2, 2012 15:15 UTC (Wed) by copsewood (subscriber, #199)
Parent article: Quantum random numbers

I read an article a few years ago in "New Scientist" which claimed that randomness, as to whether this is an inbuilt property or an emergent property of the universe is a matter of faith. Einstein's famous quote about dice suggests something similar. Randomness as an emergent property of a inherently deterministic system (e.g. dice if the mechanical simulation of movement and rebounds etc. is precisely calculated) is good enough for security applications if the calculation can't be precise enough in practice, and more importantly the generation of numbers or system determining state transitions isn't visible to an attacker.

To illustrate this idea, we can imagine various casino attacks, e.g. by the casino owner who programs a dice throwing robot based on the bets placed to minimise payouts on these, or even by a gambler with an invisible cam who is able to capture and predict the future states of moving dice early enough still to be able to place a bet, but with a better chance of winning.

So what's important here for security purposes probably isn't whether the system being used is inherently random but whether the range of states capable of being generated is sufficiently large and probabilities of such states well enough distributed, and the state transition mechanism between system states is effectively invisible and unknowable to any likely attacker.

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