Statistical Test Suite for Random and Pseudorandom Number Generators for Cryptographic Applications   [open pdf - 1MB]

The need for random and pseudorandom numbers arises in many cryptographic applications. For example, common cryptosystems employ keys that must be generated in a random fashion. Many cryptographic protocols also require random or pseudorandom inputs at various points, e.g., for auxiliary quantities used in generating digital signatures, or for generating challenges in authentication protocols. This document discusses the randomness testing of random number and pseudorandom number generators that may be used for many purposes including cryptographic, modeling and simulation applications. The focus of this document is on those applications where randomness is required for cryptographic purposes. A set of statistical tests for randomness is described in this document. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) believes that these procedures are useful in detecting deviations of a binary sequence from randomness. However, a tester should note that apparent deviations from randomness may be due to either a poorly designed generator or to anomalies that appear in the binary sequence that is tested (i.e., a certain number of failures is expected in random sequences produced by a particular generator). It is up to the tester to determine the correct interpretation of the test results. Refer to Section 4 for a discussion of testing strategy and the interpretation of test results.

Report Number:
NIST Special Publication 800-22
Public Domain
Media Type:
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