Backup of private key

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Wed Nov 25 22:13:11 CET 2009

Brian O'Kennedy wrote:
> This is a complete n00b question, but I still need to get an opinion on
> this.  

We were all new once.  :)  Welcome to the list!

> All of these make sense to me, but aren't compatible with my ability to
> lose physical things.  So, what would the risks be of me using
> symmetrical encryption with a long passphrase to encrypt my private key,
> and storing that in an online email account (gmail/yahoo/etc)?  If we
> consider the symmetric encryption to be (practically) unbreakable, is
> this safe? 

The good news is your private key is already encrypted with a symmetric
cipher.  The passphrase you type to use your key is really the
passphrase needed to decrypt it.

If you are sure that no one will ever guess your passphrase, then you
could safely publish your private key in the _New York Times_.  That
would be a really extreme case, but you could do it.

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list