# how gpg works...

**kevin lyda
**
kevin@suberic.net

*Thu Jun 28 21:30:02 2001*

i sent the following to a friend and am trying to see if i understand
it correctly:

>* > my understanding of pgp encryption is as follows:
*

>* >
*

>* > 1. choose a random key
*

>* > 2. using public key encryption, encrypt the key to cypher_text_key
*

>* > 3. write out write keyid and cypher_text_key
*

>* > 4. encrypt message using some symetric algorithm (idea or whatever)
*

>* > to cypher_text_msg
*

>* > 5. write out cypher_text_msg
*

>* >
*

>* > so in the case of multiple recipients you just do steps 2 and 3
*

>* > multiple times. i think this is just a side effect of the coice to
*

>* > use symetric encryption for the message - this is done because symetric
*

>* > encryption/decryption is much, much faster then public key encryption
*

>* > or decryption.
*

so the more recipients there are, the bigger the message - but only for
multiple keyblocks.
kevin