Ugly question

Werner Koch wk at
Wed Jan 27 14:24:11 CET 1999

"John A. Martin" <jam at> writes:

> What I am trying to get at is whether when encrypting to a public key
> can gpg tell whether the private decrypting key is split or shared.  I
> thought it had been mentioned on this list that the n-of-m split is
> how Commercial PGP does key recovery.

No and I don't know how split keys work in pgp 5 or 6 it is not
documented.  How does a plit key mechanism helps with key recovering.
The reason to split keys is to share a secret between some entities -
each part should be strong enough to withstand an attack on one part.
> Yes, split keys are interesting.  But would it not be evil in some
> cases to be accepting a signature from or encrypting to a split key
> when thinking it was an ordinary key?  Would the nominal owner of a

But how can I distinguish split keys and not splitted ones?  You will
notice that GnuPG can't decrypt/verify with a split key


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