Migrating keys (fwd)

Atom 'Smasher' atom-gpg at suspicious.org
Thu Nov 27 15:49:03 CET 2003

> > but, if i sign your key, and you add a sub-key, that carries my
> > signature, just the same as your original key that i signed... my
> > understanding of PGP/GPG is that it's easy to "go back in time" and
> > add a sub-key, so it would appear that the sub-key was also signed.
> No.  If you sign my key, you sign my primary key plus a user ID.
> **I** sign my subkeys.  You do not sign them.

yes. the encryption key isn't signed by other people, just the signing

i knew this would get confusing....

let's see... bob has his key signed by alice. i know alice, and i trust
her signature on bob's key. then bob goes and get's abducted by aliens (or
the mob, MIB, etc) and they have enough computing power to recover his
1024 signing key, but not his 2048 encryption key. (or, maybe bob was just
using one of the faulty ElGamal keys as a primary key?)

now, the aliens (or the mob, MIB, etc) set their computer's clock to some
time *before* alice's signature (setting the time to the past is optional,
but may be useful in some circumstances). then they generate a new
encryption sub-key and (self) sign it with bob's signing key, pretending
to be bob. if they set their clock back, it would appear that the new
sub-key was known to alice (who i trust). even if they don't set their
clock back, it would seem that bob (who i don't know, but i trust alice's
signature on his key)  has just generated a new sub-key. none of this
raises any alarm, even though bob could be getting probed by aliens, or
having his bones bleached by the sun.

that key can then be passed off as bob's key, even though it isn't. it
would also appear to be signed by alice (who i trust) although it wasn't.


 PGP key - http://smasher.suspicious.org/pgp.txt
 3EBE 2810 30AE 601D 54B2 4A90 9C28 0BBF 3D7D 41E3

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