changing the default for --keyid-format [was: Re: getting an encrypted file to show what public key was used]

Daniel Kahn Gillmor dkg at
Tue May 29 17:51:06 CEST 2012

On 05/29/2012 11:35 AM, Werner Koch wrote:
> Use 
>    gpg --keyid-format long --decrypt sensitive_file.gpg
> to see the non-abbreviated key ID as stored in the file.  Use this to
> find the key on a server, etc.

i've seen a lot of these mistakes where people seem to think that 32-bit
keyids are somehow collision-resistant.  For example:

Perhaps GnuPG should change the default of --keyid-format from "short"
to "long"?  certainly, the 64-bit keyID itself is not as
collision-resistant as the full fingerprint, but it does raise the bar
for an attacker (and discourages users from just parrotting the 32-bit
keyid if they don't understand what they're looking at).

I think switching the default to "long" would be on balance a Good Thing.

What do other people think?


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