The Yarrow algorithm is a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator. The name is taken from the yarrow plant, the stalks of which are dried and used as a randomising agent in I Ching divination.
It was designed by Bruce Schneier, John Kelsey, and Niels Ferguson of Counterpane Labs (Kelsey et al., 1999). The Yarrow algorithm is explicitly unpatented, royalty-free and open source; no license is required to use it. Yarrow is incorporated in iOS, Mac OS X and FreeBSD for their /dev/random devices.
An improved design from Ferguson and Schneier, Fortuna, is described in their book, Practical Cryptography.
- Yarrow algorithm page
- Yarrow-160: Notes on the Design and Analysis of the Yarrow Cryptographic Pseudorandom Number Generator, J. Kelsey, B. Schneier, and N. Ferguson
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