pgpnoob
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Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:29 am

Hey I'm a new PGP user and foolishly deleted the PGP key file that the gp4 program was using to identify my key.

The file contained my public key generated information which I copied and stored in an encrypted email (encrypted to everyone else not to me because its my account). So I have all the key information in the file I just foolishly deleted the file after copying all the info effectively removing the key.

So I have the full public key and I know that in order to retrieve it from the server I need the key ID.

How do I get this from the full public key?

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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:24 am

You can post your public key here and people can tell you very easily.
You could also upload it to pgp.mit.edu
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:36 am

I may be picking you up wrong but it seems you've deleted the actual PGP program or folder, is that correct? And you're trying to recover both your private key for decrypting messages locally and your public key which you give to other people?

If that's the case and you're trying to recover your private key (i.e. the one that decrypts messages encrypted to you), you won't be able to retrieve that from anywhere but your own computer, if the space in which it resides hasn't yet been overwritten. If you're simply trying to retrieve your public key (i.e. the one you give other people which allows them to encrypt a message to you) then you may be able to retrieve it from a keyserver as rogerver mentioned above.

Or as rogerver also mentioned, if you're just trying to find your key ID, feel free to post your PGP public key here and we'll let you know or post it to a keyserver and check it there. This might sound a little technical for you if you're new to PGP but once you get the hang of it all it's a breeze! :)

If you let me know what PGP program you're using I'll see if I can help. :)

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pgpnoob
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:31 pm

Thanks for the responses and so far I think I'm on the right track but could use a little help.

I don't believe that I deleted the pgp program that I'm using to decrypt messages because I can still open it and whatnot. I'm using gpa by the way. What I deleted was a file like a notepad file with my public key inside of it that the program generated for me. I copied this and simply moved the text to an encrypted email service. Apparently deleting the document removed my key from the program?

Anyways I submitted it to pgp.mit.edu got my key ID. Its a 16 digits prefaced by 0x

However I'm having trouble retrieving it from that server. I changed my default keyserver to http://pgp.mit.edu and attempted to retrieve it with the ID and I got a message saying "There is no plugin available for the keyserver protocol you specified."

Is it possible gpa doesn't support mit's server? Will I have to use another or can I just install the plugin somehow?

pgpnoob
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:48 pm

***Small Edit I actually attached the file that I deleted in my email I tried reimporting the file and it said No Keys Found.
Also the Program I believe is GPA and the module says GNU Privacy Assistant when I open it.

I'm using the same program that I created the key with so I don't think that I deleted my public and private keys. I could be wrong though this all still a little unclear to me

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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:57 pm

I'm a bit worried that you accidentally deleted your private key.
Are you sure you still have access to it?
If so, be sure NOT to show it or tell it to anyone.
You can use the private key to generate the public key any time.
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pgpnoob
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:31 pm

Damn that would be really unfortunate. I'm not sure how to confirm that I still have my private key or not. When I open the program I don't see my key anywhere. I don't understand how what I deleted was my private key.

It was a file that the program generated that I was allowed to name and choose where to save and everything. All that was in it when I opened it was my PGP public key and at this point PGP worked fine with receiving and decrypting messages. I then decided to use an email service and attach that file and send it to myself. I deleted the original and all of a sudden my key was gone from the program.

I downloaded and saved the file that I attached and selected it for importing. It said no keys were found in it. I don't understand as I made no changes to the file I just attached it in an email.

Is it possible that I could go into the program folder to find my key? If so what would it be called for my program and what should I look for?

pgpnoob
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:00 pm

The file only contained my public key. At the top it say Begin PGP Public Key Block. I know the Private key obviously indicates that but the program only generated one file for me to save

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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:03 pm

Damn that would be really unfortunate. I'm not sure how to confirm that I still have my private key or not. When I open the program I don't see my key anywhere. I don't understand how what I deleted was my private key.

It was a file that the program generated that I was allowed to name and choose where to save and everything. All that was in it when I opened it was my PGP public key and at this point PGP worked fine with receiving and decrypting messages. I then decided to use an email service and attach that file and send it to myself. I deleted the original and all of a sudden my key was gone from the program.

I downloaded and saved the file that I attached and selected it for importing. It said no keys were found in it. I don't understand as I made no changes to the file I just attached it in an email.

Is it possible that I could go into the program folder to find my key? If so what would it be called for my program and what should I look for?
If you open the program and don't see your key listed then the file which contains your keys and which the program is linked to has either been moved or deleted, as you mentioned in the first post. From the sound of things the file you deleted from the PGP program's folder was the file which contained your private key; when you opened it originally it may have simply displayed the public part of your key, but it most likely contained both.

To make things a little easier, please provide the following:

  • Which PGP program you're using (name and version); the version number can usually be found in the program's 'About' section
  • Which operating system you're using (name and version)
  • The extension of the file you saved (most likely ".asc", but if you can't see the extension then you'll need to change some settings, which I'll need to know your operating system to help you with


In the meantime, do a search on your machine for "*.asc" and see if any files with that extension are found. If so, copy that file into the folder you deleted the original from and see if that solves your problem. If not, please come back here with the list I requested above and I'll try assist you further. :)

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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:21 pm

Also, this page explains where GPA stores your private key; did you delete it from the location mentioned there?

http://www.webcacher.org/silkroad1-foru ... 20key.html

I just downloaded GPA to check a few things out for you.

When you right click your key in GPA and click 'Export Keys...' or click the 'Export Keys' button, GPA will only export your PGP public key for security reasons. If you wish to export your private key you need to right click on your key and click 'Backup...', and once completed you will receive a notification telling you where a copy of your secret key has been saved, and stating "This is sensitive information, and should be stored carefully". It sounds like you exported your PGP public key (with you understandably assuming it also exported your private key) then deleted your keyring which contained your private key.

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pgpnoob
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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:42 pm

Ah ok this is all starting to make a little more sense.

I'm using GPA 0.9.7 (GnuPG 2.0.28)

My OS is xubuntu 15.10

I'm not sure the extension I exported I don't know how to check that

I definitely don't think I deleted it from the folder in that link you provided although I can't be sure because I'm not sure how to find the program folder in my OS. That person seems to be using windows and I don't know how GPA stores stuff on xubuntu. When I saved the file I deleted I got to choose where it went and everything so it wasn't something intrinsically stored in the program that contains my private key information correct?

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Re: Where to find PGP KEY ID?

Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:19 pm

Ah ok this is all starting to make a little more sense.

I'm using GPA 0.9.7 (GnuPG 2.0.28)

My OS is xubuntu 15.10

I'm not sure the extension I exported I don't know how to check that

I definitely don't think I deleted it from the folder in that link you provided although I can't be sure because I'm not sure how to find the program folder in my OS. That person seems to be using windows and I don't know how GPA stores stuff on xubuntu. When I saved the file I deleted I got to choose where it went and everything so it wasn't something intrinsically stored in the program that contains my private key information correct?
If you exported it and entered your own filename it wouldn't have an extension listed, so don't mind that one for now.
Yeah, the link I provided was somebody using Windows - it was a presumption on my part that you were a Windows user, good to hear you're using Xubuntu! :) I'm not using Xubuntu myself so I'm unsure where it saves keys by default, but the following thread should be able to help on that:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1998331

From a quick read over things there, it seems GPA stores everything inside the .gnupg folder in your Home folder on Xubuntu. If that's the case and you deleted your keyring from that folder then your private key has indeed been deleted but you may be able to recover it using a file recovery program if it has not yet been overwritten by other data.

The following link may help you recover the deleted file containing your private key:
http://ubuntumanual.org/posts/357/recov ... -in-ubuntu
When I saved the file I deleted I got to choose where it went and everything so it wasn't something intrinsically stored in the program that contains my private key information correct?
Your private key is stored on your keyring along with public keys, both yours and other people's public keys you import; however, when you backup your private key you can back it up to any location you wish, and the same goes for exporting a public key - you can save them anywhere.
(Please note the difference between 'backup' and 'export' when it comes to PGP - whereas normally we'd consider export to mean the same as backup, exporting does not backup your private key to another location, it simply exports the public key selected)

Your keys are not intrinsically stored in the program as such, they are simply referenced by the program when it needs to use them to encrypt / decrypt or sign (i.e. it is possible to move your keys independently to different PGP programs and locations without affected the PGP program itself). Technically speaking you could have them (your private key or your keyring) stored anywhere as long as you pointed the program to that location, but realistically for the vast majority of users it is best and easiest to store them in the .gnupg folder where the program will reference them from.

Again, I think what you've done is export your public key rather than backup your private key and then deleted your keyring, sending only the exported public key in an email. Unfortunately you will not be able to derive your private key from that. :( If you can't recover the file you deleted initially then you'll have to create a new keypair (private key and public key).

If you have any questions on any of that (or anything else) don't hesitate to ask! That's what we're here for! And if you'd like to test sending and receiving some PGP messages I'll be happy to help. :)

Fremont

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