Smart card

Corey Sheldon sheldon.corey at
Tue Apr 4 12:41:56 CEST 2017

On 4/4/17 6:46 AM, Jan Koppe wrote:
> Hello Will,
> somewhat off-topic, but..
> On 04.04.2017 01:18, Will Senn wrote:
>> If this has been addressed recently, my apologies, I couldn't find a
>> search interface for gnupg-users...
> You can use a google query like this:
> "site: <searchterm>"
> This restricts the search to only the list archive.
> Regards,
> Jan
> _______________________________________________
> Gnupg-users mailing list
> Gnupg-users at
Hello there.

Firstly, congrats on your journey to learn the intimacy of a more secure
lifestyle.  You mention your have ~ 6 devices with keys.  Generally it
is advised to have a 'Master" set which would be backed up on smartcard,
( in my case a  Yubikey 4 - a usb sized smartcard with the smartcard/gpg
applet cooked into the device ).  with `portable` keychains on the 6
devices.   Preferably these have at least 1 subkey each that can be used
to maintain trust chains god forbid the main key or conversely the
subkey is lost/compromised. as keys/subkeys are link-able via some small
portion of the key data. Smartcard(s) purchase in your case would be
advisable as you are on multiple devices and having a portable subkey on
your other devices and the master key(s) on your Smartcard would also
provide a  sense of hardware-based 2fa and make the keys otherwise
rather useless for anyone else. Due to form factor I'm a bit biased to
usb form factor, also they tend to have the lowest bar of entry as any
pc I've encountered built post 1980 has a usb 1.0+ port.  In this
context "smartcard" refers to the device type not a technology per-say,
but a method/device to implement said technology (gpg among others).

Something else to consider is that not all smartcards are equal some
merely hold gpg keys, some like Yubikeys have other 2fa technologies
onboard like x.509 keys (in a secure element storage on the device) and
OTP ( Yubicloud,TOTP,HOTP,Chal-Resp, etc). so consider these things more
thoroughly and tehn research brands from there, revisiting this list if


Corey W Sheldon
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