hashed user IDs [was: Re: Security of the gpg private keyring?]

Ben McGinnes ben at adversary.org
Thu Mar 10 03:25:21 CET 2011

On 10/03/11 12:24 AM, Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> It seems like this is really close to asking for private stream
> searching, which would be the next logical step -- some way for the
> client to query the database for a record in such a way there is no
> way for the database to know what was queried.

That seems unnecessary.  The conversion of a search string to a hash
can be performed locally and the hash can then be passed to the
keyserver.  If there is a match, the key can be retrieved or updated
and since a specific key will be requested there is no need to conceal
the search parameters further.

> This may sound alluring, but it's an ephemera.  The current
> best-known PSS algorithm requires about one zebibyte of traffic to
> do a ten-character ASCII search.

Wow, that would certainly kill my pissant little DSL connection.

> These sorts of blinded searches are really tempting, but there are
> enormous theoretical hurdles to be cleared.  I would respectfully
> suggest that if any discussion moves to PSS-type functionality, that
> discussion be headed off at the pass.  :)

Yep, fair enough.


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