Browse Definitions:
Definition

OpenPGP

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

OpenPGP is an open and free version of the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) standard that defines encryption formats to enable private messaging abilities for email and other message encryption.

The standard uses the PKI (public key infrastructure) to create keys that are bound to individual email addresses and uses symmetric encryption based on elliptical curve cryptography. Compliant applications generate a random key that is encrypted with the public receive key. That process creates an encrypted message that contains both the data and the encrypted key. The receiver decrypts the key and uses their private key to retrieve the original random key and decrypt the data.

OpenPGP-compliant software products include Symantec Command Line, McAfee E-Business Server, Diplomat OpenPGP Community Edition, many email clients. OpenPGP clients must use up-to-date or matched versions so that settings and files created by one application are compatible with another. Only then can the applications share and mutually decrypt messages. The OpenPGP Alliance promotes OpenPGP for other communications as well as email. Facebook, for example, has added the capacity for users to add an OpenPGP key to their profile so that notifications and messages are encrypted.

Security expert Bruce Schneier advises that open encryption standards are best for security and privacy when dealing with such pervasive forces as NSA mass surveillance. He states that open security and encryption standards are much harder for the NSA to back door -- especially without getting caught. The difficulty is increased when the standard is compatible with other services and used by other vendors, because any one of them may discover the back door. Schneier worked along with Edward Snowden and the Guardian newspaper in breaking the whistleblower’s revelations about NSA surveillance.

OpenPGP is specified in IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) RFC 4880.

This was last updated in June 2015

Continue Reading About OpenPGP

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • vulnerability disclosure

    Vulnerability disclosure is the practice of publishing information about a computer security problem, and a type of policy that ...

  • incident response

    Incident response is an organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • flash memory

    Flash memory, also known as flash storage, is a type of nonvolatile memory that erases data in units called blocks.

  • NAND flash memory

    NAND flash memory is a type of nonvolatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data.

  • NOR flash memory

    NOR flash memory is one of two types of nonvolatile storage technologies.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close