Lost key -- retrieval possible?

Nori Heikkinen nori@sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Feb 7 11:21:48 2003


in moving files around between computers (frantically doing backups
when i thought my hard drive was on the fritz), i seem to have
corrupted or lost my private key.  i of course have no backup of the
key, and failed to generate a revocation certificate (it will expire
in a few months, though).  rather than just letting it die, though, i
was hoping there was a way to recover it.

i can't read anything encrypted to me, or sign or encrypt anything.
when i try to (with mutt or on the command line), i get the error

gpg: Ohhhh jeeee: ... this is a bug (getkey.c:2151:lookup)
secmem usage: 1632/1632 bytes in 3/3 blocks of pool 1632/16384

which seems to me exceedingly weird.

i'm running gnupg 1.2.0-1 on debian testing/unstable. 

when a friend (not as me, which explains the WARNING) checked out the
situation on my computer, he got the following output:

orange:~nori/.gnupg# gpg --homedir `pwd` --edit-key nori
gpg: WARNING: unsafe ownership on homedir "/home/nori/.gnupg"
Secret key is available.

pub  1024D/11E030F1  created: 2002-06-23 expires: 2003-06-23 trust: u/u
sub  2048g/3FDAB36F  created: 2002-06-23 expires: 2003-06-23
(1)  Nori Heikkinen <nori@sccs.swarthmore.edu>
(2). Nori Heikkinen <nori@maenad.net>

the fact that the "secret key is available" looks good, but i'm
confused then, as to why it's not available to me!  i can't even
command-line it:

orange:~> gpg -ser nori /tmp/bla

gpg: Ohhhh jeeee: ... this is a bug (getkey.c:2151:lookup)
secmem usage: 1408/1408 bytes in 2/2 blocks of pool 1408/16384
zsh: 17661 abort      gpg -ser nori /tmp/bla

any help or advice with this would be most appreciated, as i'd love to
regain access to my old key, which has lots of signatures, and not
have to generate a new one.  plus i like my key-id :)

thanks a lot!


    .~.      nori @ sccs.swarthmore.edu 
    /V\  http://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/~nori/jnl/
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