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Slashdot: PGP Vulnerability Discovered

Aug 24, 2000, 15:28 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Schneier)

"A very serious PGP vulnerability was just discovered. Using this vulnerability, an attacker can create a modified version of someone's public key that will force a sender to encrypt messages to that person AND to the attacker."

"Let me explain."

"When Network Associates joined the Key Recovery Alliance, they modified PGP to allow for third-party key recovery. They did this by supporting something called an Additional Decryption Key (ADK). Normally, when a PGP user creates a PGP certificate, it contains a single public key (as well as identifying information as to who the key belongs to). PGP version 5 and 6 allow the user to add additional ADKs to the certificate. When a sender encrypts a message to that user, PGP will automatically encrypt the message in both the user's public key and the ADK. The idea is that the ADK belongs to the secret police, or the user's employer, or some organization, and that organization can intercept the encrypted message and read it."

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