Help with encrypting using my PGP Public key

Kumfer, Brian K Brian.Kumfer at
Thu Apr 23 20:18:40 CEST 2009

While I appreciate the response, please note that I am unfamiliar with PGP and encryption, so this is my first attempt to work through an issue surrounding the problem.

I never stated troubleshooting is a big burden.  Rather, I did what I would expect would be normal troubleshooting activities given my novice status of dealing with PGP encryption:

1. Recreated the keys (this was done several times using command line version of GnuPG 1.4.9 compiled for Microsoft Windows installed on a Windows 2003 server).
2.   I exported the key using this command :  gpg --export --armor --output C:\tmp\my_public_key.asc
3. Sent the public key to the bank again to have them attempt to encrypt a file
4. The same error message was received back, as I initially included in my first posting
5. I then asked multiple banks if they had encountered this issue with other clients, to which they would not provide any assistance and suggested I use another method if I can get PGP to work.
6. I then googled, trying to find others who had encountered a similar issue, to which there were none.
7. Finally, I found this board and attempted to post my question.  

I am unaware of the details of this option: If this is not the case, then I
would have them do a standard hash on the data you sent them (e.g.,
md5 or sha-1) and compare the output to your own hash of your copy of
the data: if they match, you can pretty confidently elliminate (4).

And the banks are not forthcoming on what software they are using.

Any additional insight and help would be much appreciated.

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Mearns [mailto:mearns.b at] 
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 11:05 AM
To: Kumfer, Brian K
Subject: Re: Help with encrypting using my PGP Public key

On Thu, Apr 23, 2009 at 11:04 AM, bkumfer <brian.kumfer at> wrote:
> Thanks for your reply - but that does not give me a solution or answer.  Is a
> key generated by GnuPG equivalent to another source created PGP key?  I have
> multiple banks I need to have a single key created for, so I cannot
> troubleshoot the issue across different systems they use.

Hash: SHA1

It's not a solution because your problem is far too vague. It's like
saying "I created a document in OpenOffice, and when I try to perform
some [unspecified] action on it in another [unspecified] program, I
get an error". GnuPG is supposed to generate OpenPGP compliant
packets, so either: 1) you did something wrong in generating what ever
it is you sent to the bank, 2) the banks software is not OpenPGP
compliant, 3) the person at the bank did something wrong, 4) the key
data you sent got corrupted in transit, or 5) you uncovered a bug in
GnuPG. While (5) is entirely possible, it's certainly not the
conclusion I would jump to with the information you've provided.

Based on the error message, I would guess that you've given the bank a
sign-only key, which means the key can be used for signing data, but
not for encrypting (i.e., number (1)). If this is not the case, then I
would have them do a standard hash on the data you sent them (e.g.,
md5 or sha-1) and compare the output to your own hash of your copy of
the data: if they match, you can pretty confidently elliminate (4).

Beyond this, in order to get any help, you're going to need to
determine and provide more details, such as: what version of gpg
you're using, what software and version the bank is using, and what
type of key you sent them.
You said that the banks are using a different systems: have you
confirmed that your key doesn't work on any of these systems?

If troubleshooting is too big of a burden for you, then you'll just
have to give up. That's not meant to sound snarky, but if things don't
work they way you want them to, the only options are to accept it or
fix it, and you can't fix something without troubleshooting it.

- -Brian

- --
Feel free to contact me using PGP Encryption:
Key Id: 0x3AA70848
Available from:

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (MingW32)


More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list