Re: status: establishing a PGP web of trust

From: Jiri Kosina
Date: Mon Oct 03 2011 - 07:19:38 EST

On Fri, 30 Sep 2011, H. Peter Anvin wrote:

> Since the status announcement last week a number of you
> have contacted me about re-establishing credentials. In order to
> establish a proper PGP web of trust we need keys that are cross-signed
> by other developers. As such, we ask that you follow the following
> steps:
> 1. Make sure your systems are uncompromised. We will address specific
> recommended steps for that in a separate email.
> 2. Create a new PGP/GPG key, and also generate a key revocation
> certificate (but don't import it anywhere -- save it for the
> future) for your new key. In the near future we are considering
> setting up an escrow service for key revocation certificates.
> I recommend using a 4096-bit RSA key. Given how fast computers are
> these days, there is no reason to use a shorter key. DSA keys
> should be considered obsolete; substantial weaknesses have been
> found in DSA.
> $ gpg --gen-key
> $ gpg -u <key ID> -o <key ID>.revoke --gen-revoke
> 3. If you are reasonably certain that your old key has never been
> jeopardized, sign the new key with the old key.

I have a question here. In case people are 'reasonably certain' that the
old key has never been jeoparadized, why are they required to create a new

(if the old key would have been compromised, the attacker could as well
generate a new key and sign it with the old key himself, so I fail to see
any benefit of this PGP excercise).

It doesn't make too much sense to force people to live with two different
personalities in this "PGP web of trust" world just for the sake of, does it?


Jiri Kosina

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