BoS: Bug bugs privacy file but a fix is on the way (fwd)

Patrick Oonk patrick at
Tue Aug 26 15:34:13 PDT 1997

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Subject: BoS: Bug bugs privacy file but a fix is on the way

A "flaw" in the encryption program PGP 5.0 was reported to the Australian
security organisation AusCERT lat week, and a recommended fix was issued
later in the week.
  Security consultant Paul Drake, an expatriate Australian working for a
company called NetSafe, said he had discovered a bug that menat PGP 5.0
(for "Pretty Good Privacy") kept passwords in memory "at all times", as
well as part of the text of whatever had been encrypted.  The keyfile was
also being kept in a relatively insecure file, he said.
  AusCERT confirmed the problem had been reported and said they were
  PGP advocate peter Moon, who is pushing for wider use of the software
in Australia, said while the problems pointed out by Drake were "valid",
they were more weak points than "bugs".
  "The PGP encrpytion algorithm is - as anyone knows - as solid as a rock.
The attacks are all based on the principal that if you want to break into
the strongest box in the world, the easiest way is to pinch thekey."
  He said a product called bcwipe could clear the saved information and the
keyfile should probably be deleted altogether.
  Drake said PGP, a United States-based company, would release "PGP 5.01"
without the problem.

-- Jenny Sinclair, Page D4, The Age, Tuesday 26 August 1997

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