Long Key Performance

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Fri Apr 19 09:23:02 CEST 2002

On Thu, 18 Apr 2002 18:47 -0700, Anonymous  said:

> Conclusion: Long key sizes are not an important gpg performance issue.

However, I had to replace my mail reading machine from a P100 to a
P300 because some folks use pretty large key sizes and decrypting used
to take longer than reading the (small) messages.  Well, yes I could
get a decent machine, but what does it buy me.

I don't see a reason to use a >2048 bit key on a networked box - the
probability of a remote attack is far out higher than finding a way to
crack the encryption.  How many people are actually using a never
online connected machine to write and read their email, both peers
have to do it, you have to trust the recipient not to leak out the
message - how high is that probability?

If you really need such a high assurance you won't never use standard
software but maintain your own audited branch etc..  Everything else
is plain stupid.


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