decrypt : primary key or subkey ?

David SMITH dave.smith at
Wed Jun 6 18:01:21 CEST 2007

On Wed, Jun 06, 2007 at 05:14:18PM +0200, Bruno Costacurta wrote:
> gpg --list-secret-keys -v  0x2E604D51
> gpg: using PGP trust model
> gpg: no secret subkey for public subkey 0CC897B5 - ignoring
> sec   1024D/2E604D51 2006-06-11
> uid                  Bruno Costacurta <bruno at>
> uid                  Bruno Costacurta <contract at>
> uid       [ revoked] pubmb01 <pubmb01 at>
> uid       [ revoked] Bruno Costacurta <cob1 at>
> uid       [ revoked] pubmb02 <pubmb02 at>
> uid                  Bruno Costacurta <pubmb01 at>
> So I simply do not have a secret for my subkey.
> How can I add one ?

You can't "add" a secret key to a public one - otherwise, there wouldn't
be much point to public key cryptography...

You will have generated a secret key when you generated the public key -
they're generated together.  Somehow you've managed to lose the secret
key.  You need to look around in the places where you generated/stored
the key to see if you can find it.  If you can't find it, then I'm
afraid that you're stuffed - you won't be able to decrypt your encrypted
information (short of brute-force cracking it).

Sorry for being the bearer of bad news...

David Smith        | Tel: +44 (0)1454 462380    Home: +44 (0)1454 616963
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