1993-10-29 - Re: Paranoid

Header Data

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 47355877ed45c921eaf40dc7e29a54e878a3c01dee472fd37c62121f77f4ff4c
Message ID: <9310290522.AA11750@toxicwaste.MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
Reply To: <199310290500.AA09296@Menudo.UH.EDU>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-29 05:22:43 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 22:22:43 PDT

Raw message

From: Derek Atkins <warlord@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 93 22:22:43 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Paranoid
In-Reply-To: <199310290500.AA09296@Menudo.UH.EDU>
Message-ID: <9310290522.AA11750@toxicwaste.MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> Does PGP compress the text before it is encoded?

Yes.  It uses the zip algorithm (I think) as its compression engine.

> Does this allow a cracker to search for the compression's signature
> after every attempt?

Every attempt?  You mean every attempt at encryption?  Well, yes and
no.  Yes, there is a semi-known plaintext inside the encrypted data.
It is unknown if this can help an attacker.

> Is there a checksum that a cracker could use to test for success after
> every attempt?

The only checksums are the ASCII-armor checksums, and the MD5 hash
which is inside the RSA signature.  Other than these, there are no
checksums.  Neither of these can be used to aid an attacker.

> Would using UUENCODE on the text and deleting the "begin/end" lines
> before encrypting it have a synergistic effect on the difficulty of
> cracking a secret key from that particular message?

This would give an attacker even MORE of a plaintext attack, since
this will create lines of 64 characters, starting with an "M", which
gives a regular pattern to the plaintext.

> Is there an easy way to generate keys larger than 1024 bits?

No.  However given current technology and assuming no significant
breakthroughs in factoring algorithms, a 1024 bit key wont be broken
for over a million year (significantly more, if I recall).

Hope this helps.