Export secret key from WinXP (GnuPG) 1.4.7 to AIX PGP Version 6.5.8 gives Bad Pass Phrase

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Wed Sep 17 19:08:40 CEST 2008

rlively wrote:
> I need help reconciling the two responses below.

Sure.  Both answers are correct; it's a matter of how David and I are
interpreting your question.

>> Even though they key specifies Cipher: IDEA, are you saying that we
>> should be able to encrypt to this public key just fine with the
>> latest veresion of GnuPG, unless that contact is stuck using legacy
>> PGP 2.x?
>> If they use a newer version of PGP or GnuPG we should be fine?
> David Shaw wrote:
> Yes.  Even though the key specifies IDEA as a cipher, modern OpenPGP 
> systems (GPG or PGP) will both use 3DES as an alternative if they do 
> not have IDEA.

David is talking about using classic PGP 2.6-style ClassicPGP keys to
encrypt OpenPGP traffic.  This answer is correct.  You can use
ClassicPGP keys in an OpenPGP environment if both parties are using a
newer version of GnuPG/PGP.

> He is not.  There are two different internet standards for PGP.  The 
> first one, called RFC1991, dates to the early '90s.  The second one, 
> called RFC4880, was only officially released a few months ago.  The
> two standards are not interchangeable, and RFC4880 brings many more 
> capabilities to the table.
> GnuPG is an RFC4880 application.  PGP 2.6 is RFC1991.  The two are 
> generally incompatible.

I'm talking about using classic PGP 2.6-style ClassicPGP keys to encrypt
ClassicPGP traffic.  AFAIK, this answer is correct; GnuPG was never
meant to be a conformant ClassicPGP application.  (It's possible that
things have changed in the GnuPG codebase since the last time I looked
at this, though.)

The short version is that David read your message as "can GnuPG be used
to process OpenPGP traffic while using ClassicPGP keys", and I read it
as "can GnuPG be used to process ClassicPGP traffic, using ClassicPGP keys".

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