Key safety vs Backup : History of a bad day (key-restoration problem)

Atom Smasher atom at
Sun Oct 28 12:27:48 CET 2007

On Sun, 28 Oct 2007, Robert J. Hansen wrote:

> If you are comfortable with the NSA and/or GCHQ wondering why you've got 
> AES-encrypted data hidden in a JPEG that's floating around the internet, 
> then go ahead with this.

i wouldn't be any more concerned than i am now, with non-hidden 
cipher-texts coming in/out of my mailbox.

>> even with a reasonably strong pass-phrase i wouldn't want to walk 
>> around with my secret key on a flash-drive with my physical keys, but 
>> hidden in a JPG of family/friends/pets it would be easily overlooked if 
>> i lost possession of the flash-drive.
> Why not?

paranoia, maybe...? or just making sure that my secret key isn't low 
hanging fruit.

> I do not understand this irrational belief that people have in the 
> inadequacy of AES to protect their private keys.  Will it make people 
> feel better if I post my own private key to the list?  (I'm perfectly 
> willing to, if that's what's necessary to prove a point.)

i'll agree that it's somewhat irrational, but it does give me a warm fuzzy 
feeling that my 2048/4096 bit secret keys are not only encrypted with a 
reasonably strong pass-phrase, but also stored on an encrypted file system 
and not publicly available, and all backup copies are also double 

regarding my faith in AES, just check out the preferences on my public 


  762A 3B98 A3C3 96C9 C6B7 582A B88D 52E4 D9F5 7808

 	"Since trade ignores national boundaries and the manufacturer
 	 insists on having the world as a market, the flag of his
 	 nation must follow him, and the doors of the nations which
 	 are closed against him must be battered down. Concessions
 	 obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of
 	 state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be
 	 outraged in the process. Colonies must be obtained or
 	 planted, in order that no useful corner of the world may be
 	 overlooked or left unused."
 		-- Woodrow Wilson,
 		President of the United States, 1919

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