gpg anonymous recipient decryption

Meyer Wolfsheim wolf at
Fri Aug 23 00:06:01 CEST 2002

I discovered just a moment ago that gpg's method of decrypting PGP
messages encrypted to anonymous recipients is somewhat obnoxious to deal

gpg prompts the user for his passphrase for his key *each time* he
encounters a packet "encrypted to keyid 0x00000000." When a message has
been encrypted to multiple recipients, this becomes rather tedious. If he
has multiple keys on his private keyring, even more so.

I suggest that, rather than prompt for the passphrase and decrypt the
private key each time gpg tries to decrypt a new session key, gpg should
try all of them in succession until it either succeeds or fails with that
key (and then, only if necessary, prompt for the passphrase for the next


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