Long Key Performance

Enzo Michelangeli em at who.net
Sat Apr 20 03:07:02 CEST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "Timo Schulz" <timo at lcsweb.net>
To: <gnupg-devel at gnupg.org>
Sent: Saturday, 20 April, 2002 3:19 AM
Subject: Re: Long Key Performance

> I don't want to start a flame war about the key size but for me
> 2048 was a good choice for the maximum key size. The attacker tries
> the weakest point and that is definitely not the key size. It should
> be much easier to guess the password or to steal it. A large key is only
> one step for a secure communication. But of course this is my personal
> opinion and if somebody disagree I will accept it.

Well, you may be right, but why not let the users make their own decision?
Anonymous appears to have a point.

And to Werner: public/private keys affect long term security (and for a very
large number of messages). There was a time when exceeding the following
limits may have looked "plain stupid":

- 32 bits for IP addresses
- 31 bits for time_t values
- 2 decimal digits for year part of the date
- 640 Kb for the addressing space of a PC

A better criticism could be that PK crypto is not provably NP-complete, and
therefore even very long keys might one day be proven inadequate. But if
this were the real concern, we should stop using PK crypto altogether,
rather than coercing people into using keys of limited length.


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