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Author Topic: Satoshi's PGP key  (Read 1997 times)
flatfly
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January 17, 2013, 10:19:03 PM
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As I've been playing around with PGP recently, I've discovered something that surprised me: Satoshi's key
(5EC948A1) is signed by only one additional user, named lzsaver@gmail.com. After some more research, it
turns out that this is none other than bitcointalk moderator "LZ" on the Russian subforum. 

1. Why hasn't it been signed by other key members (Gavin, theymos, etc)?
2. Does it mean that LZ personally knows satoshi?  Or am I misunderstanding the significance of this?
 

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kgo
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January 17, 2013, 11:08:10 PM
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Don't have time to look it up now, but did Satoshi sign lzsaver's key as well?  If not then the signature indicates nothing.  I could generate a key called obama@whitehouse.gov and use it to sign Satoshi's key.  There's no way for him to approve or disavow my signature, unless he also signs my key, indicating he accepts its validity.

Best practices call for exchanging key fingerprints in person, and showing government identification, before signing someone's key, so:

(a) you have established their real-world identity is valid, and

(b) that they do indeed control the key in question and there isn't a MiTM attack.

Since none of the key community members have actually been able to do this, it makes sense that they haven't signed his key.
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January 17, 2013, 11:11:28 PM
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Anyone can sign anyone elses key.  You can't even prevent someone from signing your key if you don't want them too.  Also most PGP clients allow the option to sign offline.  This allows you to secure the key against replacement (a PGP attack vector) but keep that signing private.  Lastly different people have diffrent criteria for signing other people keys.  Hell some people just sign keys to avoid the warning message about potentially sending to an unknown party.

So yes you are making too much of it.
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