Random seed

Random seed

A random seed (or seed state, or just seed) is a number (or vector) used to initialize a pseudorandom number generator.

The choice of a good random seed is crucial in the field of computer security when a secret encryption key is pseudorandomly generated, a way to find it is to look for the seed used.

If the same "random" seed is deliberately shared, it becomes a secret key, so two or more systems using matching pseudorandom number algorithms and matching seeds can generate matching sequences of non-repeating numbers which can be used to synchronize remote systems, such as GPS satellites and receivers.

Random seeds are often generated from the state of the computer system (such as the time), or from a hardware random number generator.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.