Re: [openpgp] Disadvantages of Salted Signatures

Nickolay Olshevsky <> Wed, 13 December 2023 12:36 UTC

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Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2023 14:36:22 +0200
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From: Nickolay Olshevsky <>
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Subject: Re: [openpgp] Disadvantages of Salted Signatures
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If subpacket is no-go (actually, don't get how that technically differs 
from adding separate signature field), another way to relax MUSTness of 
salted signatures is to allow zero-size salt.

P.S. Isn't chaos is what we already have :-)

On 13.12.2023 14:21, Paul Schaub wrote:
> I disagree. The way I see it, signature subpackets are intended to be 
> processed in a unified way by simply hashing them as part of the 
> signature.
> Having custom behavior for some subpackets would probably cause chaos.
> This would require the subpacket to be marked as critical anyways, so 
> why not just go with the dedicated format instead?
> Paul
> Am 13. Dezember 2023 13:17:02 MEZ schrieb Nickolay Olshevsky 
> <>:
>     This may be overriden with some wording like 'If 'salt' subpacket
>     is present in signature, it's contents must be fed to the hash
>     context before starting to hash all other signature's fields'. On
>     12.12.2023 12:25, Neal H. Walfield wrote:
>             As far as I remember there were proposal of adding some
>             'salt' signature subpacket, which would serve exactly same
>             purpose. This would work in both cases: if implementation
>             needs salt, it would add it as subpacket, or do not add
>             otherwise. 
>         There's an important, but subtle difference between using the
>         salt as specified in the crypto-refresh, and putting the salt
>         in a subpacket. In the crypto refresh, the salt is placed at
>         the very start: When creating or verifying a v6 signature, the
>         salt is fed into the hash context before any other data.
>         Putting the salt in a subpacket means that there is still some
>         data that an attacker can predict and potentially control,
>         which means it doesn't preclude a chosen prefix attack. 
   Best regards,
   Nickolay Olshevsky