Encryption Algorithm for GnuPG?

Damien Goutte-Gattat dgouttegattat at incenp.org
Mon May 27 13:14:19 CEST 2019

On Sun, May 26, 2019 at 11:30:18PM -0700, Procopius via Gnupg-users wrote:
>What is the encryption engine for the current GnuPG.

There’s no single symmetric encryption algorithm. OpenPGP allows a set 
of algorithms: 3DES, IDEA, CAST5, AES, Blowfish, Twofish, and Camellia 
[1,2]. GnuPG supports all of them.

>I know IDEA is proprietary so that can’t be used, is this correct?

All patents on IDEA have now expired and IDEA is supported by GnuPG.

>If it’s NIST AES that is under the US Government? Wouldn’t that be in 
>danger of a US back door in the algorithm?

Rijndael was actually designed by a team of Belgian cryptologists. NIST 
evaluated it amongst the other candidate ciphers of the AES competition 
and eventually selected it as the winner, but was not involved in its 
design. [3]

- Damien

[1] https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4880#section-9.2


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