Re: [dev] securiy guidance

From: Thomas Levine <>
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 06:07:56 +0000

Dashamir corrected some errors in my prior message. I have forwarded his
corrections, as he is not on this mailing list.

------- Forwarded Message

Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 03:53:31 +0100
From: Dashamir Hoxha <>
To: Thomas Levine <>
cc: dev mail list <>,
Subject: Re: [dev] securiy guidance

Maybe this is off-topic, but I have to make a few corrections.

On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 12:57 AM, Thomas Levine <> wrote:

> It still uses gpg, but it forces a particular simplified style of usage
> that should be very easy for many people to learn: Only gpg symmetric
> encryption is allowed, so you do not need to understand the concept of
> asymmetric cryptography; a

It defaults to symmetric encryption, but you can use asymmetric encryption
as well, and switch back and forth between them (but only one of them
is allowed). The last three examples at the end of the man page show this.
The commands are `pw set-passphrase` to switch to symmetric encryption
or to change the existing passphrase, and `pw set-keys [key...]` to switch
to asymmetric encryption or to change the keys of the people that are
to access it.

> also, it includes in a shell that remembers the decryption password, so
> you can have it remember your password
> without relying on gpg-agent being properly installed, and you can
> easily have it forget your password without understanding that gpg-agent
> exists.

The password is remembered only when you use the shell
and when you use the symmetric encryption (the default case).
When you use asymmetric encryption the gpg-agent does its job
the normal way (if installed properly) and no passphrase is remembered
by the script.

> This is technically still gpg, but the encryption software could
> easily be replaced by something else, like encrypted zip files, the user
> doesn't need to know that it is gpg.

In the case of using asymmetric encryption the user does need to know
that this is gpg, otherwise may not be able to use it properly.
For example if you encrypt it with three public keys, then only the people
that have the corresponding private keys can decrypt it (for example
suppose that there are 3 sysadmins that need to share the data between
themselves, without having to exchange any passphrase between

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Received on Tue Mar 06 2018 - 07:07:56 CET

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