Revoked keys and past signatures

Hugo Osvaldo Barrera hugo at
Mon Feb 9 18:54:33 CET 2015

On 2015-02-09 14:28, Peter Lebbing wrote:
> On 08/02/15 20:06, Hugo Osvaldo Barrera wrote:
> > Does this mean that if someone revokes their key today, *all past*
> > signatures become invalid?
> I believe so, yes. You should probably have expired it instead, sorry.
> Suppose it is revoked because someone stole the key; then that person could
> fake signatures set in the past; faking the time. If GnuPG accepted them
> because at that time the key wasn't revoked yet, that would create a security
> issue.
> And GnuPG, AFAIK, doesn't do anything with the "revocation reason", so it will
> see all revocations the same.
> If you haven't uploaded the revocation to a key server, it is possible to have
> it unrevoked; your correspondents would need to delete their copy of your
> public key and only after that import your new unrevoked key. Say so if you
> want me to explain how to surgically alter a key to no longer be revoked. This
> however doesn't help when it's already on a keyserver; they will still keep it
> revoked no matter what you do.
> HTH,
> Peter.
> -- 
> I use the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) in combination with Enigmail.
> You can send me encrypted mail if you want some privacy.
> My key is available at <>

Oh, that was informative. It's a shame, but I seem to have asked too late and
this is already on keyservers.

I had not thought that the time could just be forged if it had been stolen.

Out of curiosity: is the revocation reason even saved? Would it be possible for
gpg to actually use it in future?


Hugo Osvaldo Barrera

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