[PATCH] Make pinentry-qt read and store passphrases in KDE 3.2's wallet

Werner Koch wk at gnupg.org
Wed Dec 3 21:49:55 CET 2003

On Wed, 3 Dec 2003 20:25:47 +0100, Martijn Klingens said:

> In the case of SSH it would be possible to use Kerberos for automatic login, 

What's wrong with plain ssh-agent - I use this for years even on the
local network and it is definitely more convenient than Kerberos
(ktelnet has quite some practical disadvantages)

> Actually, there's a difference between 'ssh -i /path/to/my.key me at server' with 
> a passwordless key and having an actual password in a wallet. The latter is 
> safe as long as the wallet is closed, the former is not.

Please remember that the keys for ssh are managed by ssh-agent and
usually there is not much point in using teh -i option

> Well, is the only of the mentioned components that allows passing on passwords 
> securely without user intervention after the initial logon.

So, for what do you need these passwords?  Are they really that
valuable that you have to secure them the same way as a private key?

> Yes, but I have some passwords for web-based GUIs at work with which I can 
> completely reconfigure switches. Those passwords fall under the same security 
> restrictions as my GPG passphrase or by SSH key's passphrase.

Say, you have 3 admins with access to that routers.  All of them are
using KWallet.  Within each wallet there are 20 different passwords,
ranging from the router access one over the porn site one to the
slashdot account.  They are all equally valuable?  And all of the
admin will take the same precautions accessing slashdot as they would
do with the router?  That is not a security policy I'd use.

> automatically mean that it in fact _DOES_ make sense to store the web 
> passwords in gpg-agent as well.

With locking the X-session to prevent password sniffing while
accessing the Heise forum?

> moot whatever way you put it. Likewise, KMail stores the passphrase in 
> memory, KIO:Fish has the SSH password, etc.

I might have missed something, but what is the importance of the SSH
password - you enter it when you login in the morning and that's it
for most folks.

> (Gnome or plain xlib wouldn't be better). And conversely, if you are using a 
> GUI you can just as well use KWallet, it makes little difference. In fact, 
> one could argue that you shouldn't even use the *-agents, but type in the 

The agent's have another purpose: Thet encapsulate the secret key
operation into one module and thus making the entire system more
secure.  Sometines it is better to put all your eggs in one basket and
watch that basket very carefully.  You may want to s/eggs/secret keys/


Werner Koch                                      <wk at gnupg.org>
The GnuPG Experts                                http://g10code.com
Free Software Foundation Europe                  http://fsfeurope.org

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