1994-06-24 - Re: WARNING!

Header Data

From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 0ddf3d1852a1d746dc2ff580650a8761c8170a2ad8311ea77429411d0758e395
Message ID: <199406240523.WAA18227@jobe.shell.portal.com>
Reply To: <9406240401.AA24191@ds1.wu-wien.ac.at>
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-24 05:22:34 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 23 Jun 94 22:22:34 PDT

Raw message

From: Hal <hfinney@shell.portal.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 94 22:22:34 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: WARNING!
In-Reply-To: <9406240401.AA24191@ds1.wu-wien.ac.at>
Message-ID: <199406240523.WAA18227@jobe.shell.portal.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Nobody writes:

>My only concern would be whether the implementation of longer keys might
>possibly "push the envelope" of the math routines used, and thus introduce
>subtle, hidden weaknesses.  Two examples might be an RNG that became
>non-random with larger numbers, or a primality tester that failed to detect
>larger non-primes.  If you have evidence for any of those scenarios, I'd
>love to hear it.  Personally, I'm staying with PGP 2.3a until the dust
>settles a bit.  I've FTPed the RSAREF 2.6 release, and it remains in its
>zipped archive for now.

I'd like to see PGP eventually remove artifical constraints on key sizes.
The MP package in PGP uses fixed-size buffers, but a more general approach
using variable-sized buffers is used in other packages such as gmp.  These
do not force you to use compiled-in limits on sizes like this.  The basic
multi-precision integer data structure in PGP does have a limit of 64K bits
but that is probably not worth changing.

Remember that it is the owner of a long key who pays most of the price of
using it.  He is the one who has to wait through lengthy signs and decrypts.
The signature-checking and encryption which other people do just involve
a few multiplications and should be pretty fast even for sizable keys.  So
I don't see any reason PGP should take this decision out of people's hands.

>Just as an aside, can some of the PGP-aware-anon-remailer operators comment
>on what they plan to do with respect to the various PGP versions?

I'm still running 2.3.  I figure that when the time comes I'll hack it to
accept 2.6 messages.