Selecting cipher to generate a key pair

Smith, Cathy cathy.smith at
Sat May 2 01:31:10 CEST 2009

I agree that with the lack of understanding.  It's been difficult to get
specific information from the customer.  I don't have the option of
saying it's their problem.  The GnuPG was a guess after I read something
about specifying the cipher algorithm.  

The customer said they have a proprietary implementation that only
supports Blowfish or 3DES for the key.  I'm still trying to find out
exactly what that means.  I've talked to the folks here at work who
understand these things better than I, and all have shook their head.  

I appreciate your assistance.

Cathy L. Smith

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Operated by Battelle for the
U.S. Department of Energy

Phone:	509.375.2687
Fax:	      509.375.2330
Email:	cathy.smith at

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert J. Hansen [mailto:rjh at] 
Sent: Friday, May 01, 2009 4:22 PM
To: Smith, Cathy
Cc: Allen Schultz; gnupg-users
Subject: Re: Selecting cipher to generate a key pair

Smith, Cathy wrote:
> The customer stated that he can accept a public key generated with 
> either Blowfish or Triple-DES.  I wasn't sure what he needed because 
> all I've dealt with in generating a key pair before is selecting the 
> DSA or RSA option.  Our PGP version doesn't offer the DSA and Elgamal

It probably does, actually; PGP just, for marketing reasons, calls it
Diffie-Hellman/DSS.  (Long story, but yes, they're the exact same

That said, your customer does not appear to understand how GnuPG or PGP
work.  _All_ OpenPGP-conformant applications (GnuPG, PGP, and others)
can handle 3DES; and 3DES has absolutely nothing to do with how you
generate your public key.

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