gpg usage problem

Matt Wronkiewicz
Fri Dec 20 19:51:02 2002

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> > gpg  --list-secret-keys
> gpg: WARNING: using insecure memory!
> gpg: please see for more
> information
> gpg: mpi too large (4294967200 bits)
> gpg: mpi too large (4294967207 bits)
> gpg: mpi too large (4294967219 bits)
> gpg: keydb_search_first failed: invalid packet

See the attached message for a possible workaround. Also find
more information at:

You can disable the memory warning by passing
--no-secmem-warning to gpg.

Matt Wronkiewicz <>

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From: Weimer@CERT.Uni-Stuttgart.DE (Florian Weimer)
Date: Fri Jun  7 21:23:02 2002
Subject: Keys which leave GnuPG unusable
In-Reply-To: <> ("Robert
 J. Hansen"'s message of "Thu, 6 Jun 2002 21:49:56 -0500 (CDT)")
References: <>
Message-ID: <87wutbr0rj.fsf@CERT.Uni-Stuttgart.DE>

"Robert J. Hansen" <> writes:

> With GnuPG 1.0.6, it'll throw a fit about an MPI being too large and will 
> segfault.  You can import it just fine, but once you import it, all 
> further operations crash and burn.

It's probably an encrypted MPI started with a zero octet.  This
problem is already known, I think.

Workaround: Create a new directory, copy the secret key (in
non-armored from) to "secring.gpg", use "gpg --home . --edit-key" to
change the passphrase.  It's likely that the result is readable by
GnuPG (the bug is triggered with a probability of 1:85 or so).

Florian Weimer 	                  Weimer@CERT.Uni-Stuttgart.DE
University of Stuttgart           http://CERT.Uni-Stuttgart.DE/people/fw/
RUS-CERT                          +49-711-685-5973/fax +49-711-685-5898


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Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (SunOS)