Ugly question

John A. Martin jam at
Wed Jan 27 11:13:37 CET 1999

>>>>> "Werner" == Werner Koch
>>>>> "Re: Ugly question"
>>>>>  Wed, 27 Jan 1999 14:24:11 +0100

    Werner> "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.

    Werner> No and I don't know how split keys work in pgp 5 or 6 it
    Werner> is not documented.  How does a plit key mechanism helps
    Werner> with key recovering.  The reason to split keys is to share
    Werner> a secret between some entities - each part should be
    Werner> strong enough to withstand an attack on one part.

Yes, secret sharing.  I am so foggy on the key recovery part that I
had better let it drop at least until I can pose a sensible question.

    >> 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

    Werner> But how can I distinguish split keys and not splitted
    Werner> ones?

That is what I was asking about.  :-)

    Werner> You will notice that GnuPG can't decrypt/verify with a
    Werner> split key

You have said that you would like to sometime, right?

Thanks for trying to deal with my poorly formed questions.


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