Monday, October 7, 2013

Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) introduction

1. what is gpg?
GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG) is a GPL licensed alternative to
the PGP suite of cryptographic software.

2. where does it used?
excerpt from wikipedia [3]
Although the basic GnuPG program has a command line interface,
there exist various front-ends that provide it with a graphical user
interface. For example, GnuPG encryption support has been integrated
into KMail and Evolution, the graphical e-mail clients found in KDE
and GNOME, the most popular Linux desktops. There are also
graphical GnuPG front-ends (Seahorse for GNOME, KGPG for KDE).
For Mac OS X, the Mac GPG project provides a number of Aqua
front-ends for OS integration of encryption and key management as
well as GnuPG installations via Installer packages. Furthermore, the
GPGTools Installer installs all related OpenPGP applications (GPG
Keychain Access), plugins (GPGMail) and dependencies (MacGPG) to
use GnuPG based encryption. Instant messaging applications such as
Psi and Fire can automatically secure messages when GnuPG is
installed and configured. Web-based software such as Horde also
makes use of it. The cross-platform plugin Enigmail provides GnuPG
support for Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. Similarly, Enigform
provides GnuPG support for Mozilla Firefox. FireGPG was
discontinued June 7, 2010.

2. should i use it?
excerpt from the kernel discussion [1]
There is going to be discussion about security procedures at the kernel
summit; to date we've been focused on the short-term requirements to
get back up so that the next merge window can open up,
hopefully without getting instantly compromised again. That's going to
require the help of everyone that we trust, especially from folks who
are maintaining git repositories.

I personally don't think we're headed into sign-all-patches, since
patches still need to be reviewed, and at some level, as long as the
patch is reviewed to be Good Stuff, that's actually the most important

That being said, if you have a GPG key, and you can participate in a
key signing exercise so that you are part of the web of trust, that also
means that you have a much better ability to trust that git trees that
you pull down to your system that have signed tags are in fact
legitimate (at least up to a signed tag).

So there are good reasons why developers who primarily participate
by e-mailing patches might want to start using GPG.

3. how long should the new key be valid?
excerpt from the kernel discussion [1]
That is a good question. At the very least you want it to be valid for
long enough that you will be able to get enough signatures on a new
key *before* your old key expires. As such I would recommend 3-5
years depending on how much you trust yourself to keep the key

Some people have decided to opt for an unlimited key, but that
*requires* that you have a way to revoke the old key, which is why we
are considering a key revocation escrow service.

4. what tools do i need to generate a gpg key?
well, you need gpg. To generate the key,
$ gpg --gen-key and follow the steps on screen.
you can read for more information in [2]



1 comment:

  1. I do trust all of the ideas you have offered in your post.
    They're very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are very quick for starters.
    May just you please prolong them a bit from next time?

    Thank you for the post.