SHA-1 recommendations

John W. Moore III jmoore3rd at
Tue May 19 01:14:08 CEST 2009

Robert J. Hansen wrote:

> Not so much a conflict as a let's-not-be-hasty.  According to the spec,
> it must be an ordered preference list, but the other guy isn't required
> to treat it as anything other than a capability set.

As far as I can tell, I can run with:
personal-digest-preferences H10 H9 H8 H11

I can set this on both My Key and in gpg.conf, BUT; if My correspondent
can only or insists upon only using SHA1 or RIPEMD160 then My
"preferences' will be ignored but I'd still like to be able to verify
the hash.

Rob correctly pointed out that inertia is a powerful force.  Look at the
amazing inroads that have been made in getting folks to even adopt
encryption.  :-\  Every time I read 'must' I shake My head and correct
it to 'highly recommend/encourage' because as soon as the software is
changed to 'force' Me to do something I'm gonna lay My ears back and rebel.

Hardly a week passes by that I don't encounter someone 'offering' PGP
6.5.8ckt.  The louder knowledgeable people scream that it is deprecated
& dangerous the louder the 'unwashed' hear:  It is 'forbidden' therefore
it must be desirable for some reason.

A Preference is exactly that; something I prefer.  I can't, and
shouldn't even try to, make You prefer it too.  I can explain My
reasoning and hope You'll adopt it but if changes I [or anyone] think
are important/critical are suddenly introduced the majority will become
very confused.  To prevent the Hashing system from becoming the
algorithm equivalent of the Tower of Babble then I feel the intelligent
course of action is to allow Me My Preferences but don't rob Me of My

While everyone is busy trying to eliminate SHA1 I'd like to also learn
more about the last time a Hash was discontinued.  H6 - TIGER192 once
existed but was successfully retired.  How long did this take?  How was
it accomplished?  What, if any, repercussions followed?

What if SHA1 were phased out while at the same time offering a
replacement that was more attractive.  Say, WHIRLPOOL.  SHA1 has been
around so long that it can't just be abandoned; this would feel like
throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  :-\

Just My musings after days of following this thread.  Sorry for the
interruption.  :-D

Timestamp: Monday 18 May 2009, 19:13  --400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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