NULL passphrase. Secure?

John Clizbe
Wed May 21 14:28:59 2003

Hash: SHA1

Daniel Carrera wrote:
> A null passphrase means that all an attacker needs to do is obtain the
> private key from the victim's hard drive.  How difficult is that?  Is it
> difficult enough that regular users can afford to not worry about it?

How difficult? Not at all, all you have to do is ask. See Adrian von
Bidder's post to the keyserver-folk list from August 2002 (This was
discussing PGP specifically, but is applicable to all encryption - even
X.509 certs).

- -------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Pgp-keyserver-folk] Re:
Date: 29 Aug 2002 08:47:53 +0200
From: Adrian 'Dagurashibanipal' von Bidder <>

I guess after 9-11 and with the right paranoia marketing (they should
hire some marketing freak from mcaffee etc.), I guess you could get
quite a number of mainstream users get to use pgp, iff the user
interface is simple enough.

Problem of course that these users would have absolutely no clue about
how to use a cryptosystem in a safe manner, so I'd expect the number of
'exploits' against the openpgp system to be comparable to the number of
msword macro viruses. Yes, I can definitely see it coming...



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