Paperkey question

David Shaw dshaw at
Sun Feb 8 17:55:38 CET 2009

On Feb 8, 2009, at 11:00 AM, Dirk Zemisch wrote:

> Hello Ingo, hello GnuPG Users,
> On Sun, 08 Feb 2009 16:36:48 +0100
> Ingo Klöcker <kloecker at> wrote:
>> On Sunday 08 February 2009, Ian Hill wrote:
>>> I have a question about paperkey, bearing in mind that this
>>> application may not always be available can one restore the secret
>>> key just using the printed paperkey and the public key from
>>> keyservers manually.
>> Yes. All you need to know is the format used by paperkey, the format
>> of OpenPGP keys and a good hex editor.
> Does it mean, that anybody who gets the papekey printout can restore  
> my
> private key - even if he doesn't know my passphrase? Sure?

Yes and no.  Someone could restore your private key in the sense that  
they could recreate the same secret key file that you have.  However,  
they could not use it as the paper key has the same passphrase as your  
secret key.

You should protect the paper the same way you protect your electronic  
secret key.


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