SecureBlackbox 16: With what other PGP software is OpenPGPBlackbox compatible?

Note: This article applies only to SecureBlackbox Legacy. For future development please consider using the latest version.

Compatibility with OpenPGP

The OpenPGPBlackbox package of SecureBlackbox is implemented according to RFC 2440 and its successor, RFC 4880, which define the OpenPGP standard. OpenPGPBlackbox is compatible with any software that follows this standard.

Compatibility with Other PGP Software

Theoretically, PGP software can use proprietary patented extensions like split keys etc., but since the release of OpenPGPBlackbox in 2005 we have never come across such files. Generally files generated by other PGP software products are processed without problems.

Compatibilty Across PGP Versions

PGP (software) comes in different versions, the most widespread of which are 2.6.3, 5.6, and 8.x / 9.x. Each of those versions has its own shortcomings, specifics, and deviations from the standard. OpenPGPBlackbox deals with these complexities, which include the following:

  • Version 2.6.3 uses IDEA (a patented algorithm) and RSA keys.
  • Version 5.6 uses CAST and can work with ElGamal and RSA keys, but has some other shortcomings.
  • Versions 2.6, 5.6, and 8/9 use different formats of packets among other options.

Additional Notes on Version Compatibility

OpenPGPBlackbox further supports the processing of multiple files stored in one PGP file, a new feature of PGP Desktop 9.x, and also supports the creation of such files.

Various versions of GnuPG etc. are supported as long as these applications follow the above mentioned standards.

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