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

Atom Smasher atom at
Sun Oct 28 12:35:06 CET 2007

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

> Atom Smasher wrote:
>> i wouldn't generally advocate a vernam cipher for encrypting messages, 
>> but i think it is the best real-world-practical way to do secret 
>> sharing (at least until someone builds an application that ~uses~ a 
>> real secret sharing algorithm).
> See _The Art of Computer Programming_, Volume 2, section 4.6.4, 
> "Evaluation of Polynomials".  In my copy it's on page 505; YMMV if you 
> have a different edition.  Knuth characterizes it as "an important and 
> somewhat surprising application of polynomial interpolation", as well as 
> "amazingly simple".
> I can vouch for the "amazingly simple" part.  I volunteer at a local 
> elementary school and help teach their talented-and-gifted fourth 
> graders.  One of the first things we do each year is go over the Shamir 
> protocol.
> PGP Corporation also uses it to divide up key shares, if I recall 
> correctly.

would that be the same PGP(tm) Corporation that, last i checked, made 
source code available for review but only licensed the use of pre-compiled 
binaries? i hate to sound paranoid (hhmm, actually i don't mind anymore) 
but where's the open source application(s) that do that? especially if 
it's so easy.


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