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Re: wanted: educate us please on key dongles

On Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 07:34:35PM +0200, Marc Haber wrote:
> On Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 01:41:39PM +0100, Jonathan McDowell wrote:
> >     * GnuK: My favourite choice. It's slow with RSA4096, but does
> >       support it. The hardware is open. The software is open (you can
> >       compile and flash it using tools available in main). Upstream is
> >       responsive (and a DD). However it's physically not quite as
> >       polished and there are availability issues.
> Would that be this device:
> https://www.amazon.de/Fst-Without-Enclosure-32-Bit-Computer/dp/B01IOYSIBG ?
> Is that a reasonable price?

I think NIIBE was selling them for about €30 at DebConf, so that's a
reasonable mark up. He said Seeed are currently changing business model
to move away from low volume devices, but despite what their website
says they do still have some in stock.

> >     * Nitrokey Start: This is based on the GnuK (note their other
> >       devices are not) and seems like it might be a good alternative
> >       that is more physically robust will still being reasonably Free.
> >       I've not actually had my hands on one however so this is guesswork
> >       - but they do pop up on the GnuK dev list occasionally.
> Their web page says that it will only suppor 2048 bit RSA keys, which is
> the limitation of most USB crypto tokens on the market today. The
> Nitrokey Pro will also do 3072 and 4096 bit, but it's considerably less
> free?

The Start is based on the GnuK and I think should be upgradable to do 4K
keys. The Pro uses a non-free smartcard internally for the RSA
operations. I believe the Start should also be capable of ECC, as per
the GnuK. It's possible Nitrokey haven't updated their firmware to
support this yet.

> > I appreciate this is not the "key dongles for dummies" asked for,
> > but hopefully it's more helpful than continued silence. I personally
> > would like us to get to the point where the "offline master" is our
> > base line for how contributors to Debian manage their key - it
> > provides a useful measure of extra security without the extra
> > expense that a USB token involves. That said a USB token is
> > definitely a better option.
> I have been postponing the offline master stuff for years because of
> the hassle connected. Would it be a stupid idea to have one hardware
> token for the Master key (generated on the device, never having left
> it) and a second token for the everyday signing and encryption keys?
> Can I have a master certification key on one device and subkeys on
> another one? Can I also have this when the private parts of master and
> sub keys have been generated on different devices?

Yes. I have a GnuK which holds my 0x21E278A66C28DBC0 master key, and
then a separate device which has the 3 active subkeys (signing,
encryption + authentication) for this key.


   101 things you can't have too   |  .''`.  Debian GNU/Linux Developer
       much of : 25 - email.       | : :' :  Happy to accept PGP signed
                                   | `. `'   or encrypted mail - RSA
                                   |   `-    key on the keyservers.

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