Questions from a newbie

Hardeep Singh hs2412 at
Tue Dec 5 10:22:44 CET 2006

Hi All

I need to travel a lot and send emails/proposals on the go. Mostly I
just carry my docs on a pendrive, rarely also carrying a laptop. So
even though I have known PGP for quite a long time and I tried my hand
at it, also at thawte, I never took it seriously since PGP needs to be
installed and all. Now I found GnuPG and liked it - its small and can
be carried on the pendrive easily. I have a few questions:

1. While creating the key, I noticed RSA is sign only. Does it mean an
RSA key cannot be used to encrypt? Why so - even RSA is now in public
domain I believe. PGP (the free version) also allows RSA keys. The
algorithm used instead by GnuPG is "DSA and Elgamal' which I havent
heard of and dont know if they are equally secure. Are these
compatible with PGP?

2. What happens if I loose the pendrive? They would not know the
password but they would have the secret key. Does it make it easier
for them to hack the messages I have already received, and possibly
the encrypted files I have stored on the same pendrive?

3. Is there a wipe function or a wipe software also available from Gnu
similar to the one offered by PGP? I need one that can be run from a
pendrive without installation.

Hardeep Singh
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