SKS-Keyserver returns negative timestamp

Andrew Gallagher andrewg at
Mon Feb 26 18:14:58 CET 2024

On 26 Feb 2024, at 14:29, Jan Girlich <vollkorn at> wrote:
> I am doing a request to an SKS keyserver ( and receive
> the following response:
> 'pub:AC71EF0964192842B15AFE6417EDE60510000001:0:0:-62135596800::'
> How is the timestamp '-62135596800' to be interpreted?

It would normally be interpreted as “seconds before the epoch”, but in this particular case the key is unparseable, so the number is meaningless. Keys can be unparseable for many reasons, but the most common one is the use of an obsolete primary key algorithm, such as RSA512 or Elgamal encrypt-and-sign.


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