Specialists of the Faculty of Telecommunication Engineering of the Indian Scientific Institute have developed an innovative generator of truly random numbers that will help improve encryption and provide enhanced protection of sensitive data such as credit card data, passwords, etc.
Encrypted information can only be decrypted by someone who has a cryptographic key. This key must be such that it cannot be guessed, and consist of random numbers.
As a rule, cryptographic keys are generated by computers using so-called pseudo-random number generators relying on mathematical formulas or pre-programmed tables that produce numbers that seem random, but in fact are not. Unlike such generators, true random number generators extract numbers from naturally arbitrary physical processes, which makes them more reliable.
As the specialists of the Indian Scientific Institute explained, the device they developed generates random numbers based on the arbitrary movement of electrons. It consists of an artificial electron trap created by connecting layers of material as thick as an atom, like black phosphorus or graphene. The strength of the current measured through the device increases when the electron is trapped and decreases when it is released.
Since the electrons fall into the trap and are released from it in an arbitrary way, the measured current strength also varies arbitrarily. A random number is generated based on the time of this change. It is impossible to predict at what exact moment the electron will fall into the trap, so the generated numbers are truly random.
Since the device is completely electronic, millions of them can be created on a single chip. Scientists intend to improve their invention by speeding up its work and developing a new production process that allows chips to be put into mass production.