Master signing key length

Jon Molesa rjmolesa at
Mon Mar 5 08:21:26 CET 2012

Does master signing key length have any effect on the length of

I'm particularly interested to know if a 4096 sub-key is weakened in
some way by belonging to a 1024 master signing key.

I have a really old master signing key that I have used to sign several
keys. Most of the blogs and tutorials explaining upgrading your key talk
about signing your new key with your old key in order to transfer trust,
but this does little to preserve the validation I've performed on some
other keys.

I'm thinking I could keep my current master signing key and just create
a new sub-key with a longer length. But I'm curious what if anything I'm
loosing by doing it this way. I was unable to find any information
anywhere explaining the relationship of the master key length to the
sub-key length and the security implications of them having differing

Jon Molesa
rjmolesa at
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