About us

How did it started?

It all started in 2010 as an electronic student project. The prototype was build around the worst and cheapest CCD sensor we could find (producing hopefully the most noise).

For a few month in 2010 it was accessible directly on the Internet and you could only get one number at the time (yes it was slow and not optimized).

Fast forward in the winter of 2017, while looking at an old code archive we rediscovered the project, improved a lot the performances updated the core code, the entropy extractor and decided to run it as a private service for a while in order to test it.

After months of tests we felt confident enough to release a beta version so anyone can benefit and use it for his/her own project

I have an idea to improve randomdata.sh, what can I do?

We always welcome ideas to improve our service. If you have suggestions, please open a ticket on our Git repository.

Can I use randomdata.sh to generate secure passwords for critical applications?

The data transmitted between your browser and randomdata.sh is encrypted and secured with SSL and any number generated by our service is immediately discarded once it’s sent. We don’t keep a copy of the numbers generated.

However it’s not recommended to use an online tool for anything critical, our website could become compromised, you shouldn’t trust an online entity if you need highly secured random numbers.

If you want to generate a strong highly secure password we recommend to use diceware

How does it works?

randomdata.sh uses heat noise from a CCD sensor array

Dark current arises from heat energy within the silicon wafer. Electrons created during this process are independent of photons falling on the detector. These electrons are captured by the sensor array and counted as signal.

The signal created is then processed to extract entropy and feed it into an entropy pool, ready to be used by the public. The heat produced by the server during the processing is used as a byproduct to keep the sensor at high temperature.

+-------------------------+
|                         |
|        CCD Sensor       |
|                         |
+------------+------------+
             |
+------------v------------+            +-----------------------+            +--------------------+
|                         |            |                       |            |                    |
|    Entropy extractor    +-----+------>     Chaos machine     +------------>    Entropy pool    |
|                         |     ^      |                       |            |                    |
+-------------------------+     |      +-----------+-----------+            +---------+----------+
                                |                  |                                  |
                                |      +-----------v-----------+                      |
                                |      |                       |                      |
                                +------+     Feedback loop     |                      |
                                       |                       |                      |
                                       +-----------------------+                      |
                                                                                      |
                                                   +----------------------------------+
                                                   |
                                       +-----------+-----------+
                                       |                       |
                                       |     randomdata.sh     |
                                       |                       |
                                       +-----------------------+

What should I do if I find a vulnerability or a bug in randomdata.sh

We take security very seriously and we encourage you to contact us. We can stay in touch and make sure the problem is fixed before widespread exploitation.

I got 4 times the same number, it can’t be random isn’t it?

We, humans are rather bad at spotting randomness, we like to see patterns all the time.
A true random generator means any possibility is possible and they can equally happen, which means sometime it can produce series of identical numbers. This is normal and excepted from time to time.
If for any reason the generator fails, it won’t send you a number but rather a clear error message.

How can you be sure the numbers are random?

Oddly enough you can’t never be sure if a result is truly random. We test our number on a daily basis and of course you are welcome to do the same if you don’t believe us. You can check our real time analysis in the statistic section

Is it open source?

Running a service like randomdata.sh isn’t trivial and while the internal source code is proprietary we do have a public open source API that can be used on any device with an internet connection. Check out our git repository for more information

Where is the generator located?

We currently have two generator located in Zurich Switzerland and it’s planned to have them in different geographical region for redundancy purpose.