Which version of GnuPG to use?

Brian Minton brian at minton.name
Tue Sep 17 20:16:09 CEST 2019

On 9/17/19 12:59 PM, Stefan Claas via Gnupg-users wrote:
> Unfortunately I am no programmer but I was thinking about the following:
> I assume that in order to decrypt a message the secret key data must be
> unlocked and loaded for a very short time into the computers RAM, in order
> to perform the decryption, or am I wrong with my assumption?

No, the decryption (of the message's session key) is performed entirely
within the smart card, using the smart card's internal processor.  The
session key is then in copied to the computer's main memory to perform
AES or whatever symmetrical encryption the message is encrypted with. 
The smart card is actually as a separate computer that performs basic 
encryption on the user's behalf, while making it as difficult as
possible to access the private keys.

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