Stefan Bellon
Sat Feb 17 20:05:01 2001

In article <>,
   Johan Wevers <> wrote:

> Stefan Bellon wrote:

> > I think it would be a nice addition if GnuPG asked for your
> > passphrase when exporting the secret key with --export-secret-key.
> > I know that it is not necessary, but it would make it safer against
> > misuse as the key couldn't be extracted unattended, ... IYSWIM.

> That's quite useless. The key is, also if extracted, still
> password-protected, and if someone gets your secring this password
> protection is all there is. If you want to remove the password from
> the key you need to give it anyway because is is needed for
> decryption.
Yes, ok, then let's make my suggestion different. Then I think a confirmation question like: "Are you sure you want to export your secret key? (y/N)" Should appear. I *know* that it doesn't introduce any security. But it's generally a bad thing when you notice "Oooops, was this my SECRET KEY BLOCK I attached to that email? Sh*t! Why didn't GnuPG warn me about this." Not that this happened to me, but I know a few people that are afraid of this happening.
> Besides, it can easily be circumvented by using a hacked version of
> gpg. This sounds like security by obscurity, generally a bad idea and
> for an open-source program totally useless.
I didn't mean to say that the key is safer. It's just that you don't export it in a foolish manner without noticing what you are doing. Of course even the exported SECRET KEY BLOCK is password protected. But would you like to send your secret key to me? No. Why should an inexperienced user not be warned if he tries to do something he doesn't want to, but doesn't notice? Greetings, Stefan. -- Stefan Bellon * <> * <> PGP 2.6 and GnuPG (OpenPGP) keys available from my home page Mistakes are often the stepping stones to utter failure