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Re: [vox-tech] gpg question
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Re: [vox-tech] gpg question


  • Subject: Re: [vox-tech] gpg question
  • From: Bill Broadley <bill@math.ucMAPSdavis.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 13:54:54 -0800
  • References: 20001214112502.A30523@dirac.org

On Thu, Dec 14, 2000 at 11:25:02AM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> if there's a one to one and onto relationship between a public key and its
> fingerprint, why do we deal with public keys at all?
> 
> why not just deal with fingerprints and, as far as humans go, do away with
> the public key altogether?  I can memorize my fingerprint, but certainly not
> my public key...
> 
> puzzling!
> 

Well first of all it's not 1-1 it's just mostly 1.1.

Just like your VERY unlikely to ever find a file with the same MD5
checksum, but you can't just transmit the MD5 checksum instead of the
file since there would be a loss of information.

So a GPG is just a checksum of the larger key, it would be hard to
spoof, but encrypting using it wouldn't provide the same protection.

Keep in mind that non-symetric keys (i.e. public key) need many
more bits/digits to provide the same protection as symetric keys.

For instance www.distributed.net has had 30-50k machines working
on breaking a 64 bit key for over 1000 days.  Numbers get big
quick...




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