PGP is an acronym for Pretty Good Privacy, a comprehensive cryptosystem created by Phil Zimmerman in 1991 for private e-mail. PGP is based on a public-key encryption algorithm that uses a two-prong encryption method. It first encrypts the initial key exchange and then uses IDEA or International Data Encryption Algorithm in order to encrypt data continuously after keys have been exchanged.
Technipages Explains Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
One of the unique features of the PGP mail model is that it uses circles of trust to authenticate the sender of any message. That means that where usually a signature is verified with a certificate authority or CA, PHP makes it possible for users to sign someone else’s certificates, which confirms that they know them personally and are willing to vouch that a signature came from that person and nobody else.
PGP is used for things like signing, encrypting, and decrypting texts, e-mails, files, directories, and even whole disk partitions and to increase the security of e-mail communications between known participants. Its encryption effectively uses a serial combination of hashing, data compression, symmetric-key cryptography, as well as the aforementioned public-key cryptography. Despite having been released in 1991, there is currently no known method of breaking the secure circles established by PGP through cryptographic or computational means.
It’s been described as near military-grade security and is used in several different programs, though big clients like Windows Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and the like each have their own type of encryption and security features. PGP isn’t perfect, but it is believed that any vulnerabilities found with programs that use it are in the client, rather than the encryption itself.
Common Uses of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
- Pretty Good Privacy or PGP uses both symmetric and asymmetric keys to encrypt data before it is sent through a network.
- PGP is used for signing, encrypting, and decrypting texts as well as e-mails and more.
- The Open PGP encryption standards were established by the IETF and implemented in several free software tools.
Common Misuses of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)
- PGP combines the advantages of both asymmetric and symmetric encryption, while also at least partly mitigating the downsides of them.