key server security

CL Gilbert
Fri Jun 20 01:13:10 2003

Hash: SHA1

Kyle Hasselbacher wrote:
| On Thu, Jun 19, 2003 at 03:09:44PM -0400, David Shaw wrote:
|>No.  The keyservers are add-only for various reasons. [...]
| Sorry if this is a FAQ, but:  why?
| After a thread about a faked key on a key server (which doesn't check
| signatures), I started thinking about a key server which DOES check
| signatures, and strips those it finds lacking.  How do I attack such a
| system?  How do I attack if it if it throws away expired data?  Is there a
| good reason NOT to use a DB backend (like Postgres) to do the storage?
| What's the impact of a black hat owning a key server?
| If all this is answered somewhere else, I'd love a pointer.

Their is no need for the server to check the signatures because the gpg
or pgp program will.  If the server checked the signatures, it would
require more processing power.  Of course the server certainly *could*
do it, but perhaps they are trying to reduce costs.

a key server needs to be add only.  if it removed sub keys, then when it
synched with other servers it would just get those same old sub keys
right back.  You need all servers to remove the sub keys at the same
time.  Not gonna happen.  besides, suppose a user has downloaded a key
that you later revoke.  since its revoked the server deletes it.  now
everybody that has already downloaded that key will never know it has
been revoked..

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- --
Thank you,

CL Gilbert
Free Java interface to
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard." Ecclesiastes 9:16

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