GnuPG

Updates to my OpenPGP key

With my current OpenPGP key set to expire in the middle of December I’ve decided to extend its life by changing the expiry date for the primary signing key 0xFEEEFA8F and adding a new encryption subkey that can be used when the existing one expires. The new expiry date for the main signing key as well as the new encryption subkey is 2 years from today. Before getting into the actual notice allow me to capture exactly what I did:

Force Thunderbird/Enigmail to use a specific signing (hash) algorithm

If you’ve had issues trying to get Thunderbird to send your PGP signed e-mail using anything other than SHA-1 there is a quick and easy fix that will let you pick whichever hash you prefer. Open up Thunderbird’s preferences On the Advanced Tab, under General click Config Editor… In the about:config window search for “extensions.enigmail.mimeHashAlgorithm” without quotes. Double click on this and enter a value.

GnuPG crowdfunding easier crypto

I came across a crowdfunding site for GnuPG with the tag line: The world needs GnuPG encryption more than ever – a new website, new design, and new content will make strong crypto friendly. If they can actually do something to make GnuPG, and computer security in general, more user friendly and approachable than it may actually be a cause worth supporting.

Transitioning to a new key

Below you will find my OpenPGP Key Transition notice signaling my intention to migrate from my current key (0x1CD3E3D8) to my new one (0xFEEEFA8F). Note that it is very likely that the software used on this website will render the notice in such a way as to invalidate the signature below. Instead please see the plain text version here to do proper validation against or check out my About Me page for full details.

PGP Best Practices

I’ve been meaning to write a quick post on PGP/OpenPGP related settings that you can use to increase your overall security even more. Simple things like changing your preferred cipher and digest algorithms. In fact I even started writing just such a post about a year and a half ago but never got around to finishing it. Luckily I was recently linked to the following website that deals with essentially everything I was going to write about anyway.

Security tip #3: public key cryptography & PGP

Public key cryptography is one of the most essential pieces to online security. It is at the root of what enables you to shop online, do secure online banking, and communicate securely. I will be focusing on the latter in this tip. But first a quick and simple refresher on what public key cryptography is and how it works. How public key cryptography works Or rather how you use it. Cryptography allows you can lock any data or information inside of a digital safe.