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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: trusting downloaded code (was: [vox-tech] Installing Java)
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Re: trusting downloaded code (was: [vox-tech] Installing Java)



Quoting Henry House (hajhouse@houseag.com):

> I've occasionally speculated that it would be really useful for
> distributions to provide a package containing all the public keys used by
> upstram maintainers (e.g., kernel.org) to sign releases. There is no
> guarantee that when I download Foo Group GmBH's latest tarball and PGP key
> from their FTP server, then verify the former against the latter, that I
> have not downloaded a compromised tarball AND conpromised PGP key. Thoughts?

I suppose that would be useful.  

Debian, for example, could have package "upstream-keyring" to go along
with their "debian-keyring" package that furnishes the gpg keys of all
registered Debian developers.  

At the same time, they may see maintaining such a package (checking
continually for revocations and compromises, etc.) as not their problem.
Dunno.

A more _standard_ (extant and functional) way you verify that a PGP/gpg
key is valid is via signatures in that key (and absence of a revocation
certificates) in the worldwide web of trust.  Obviously, you would not
_ever_ want to trust an upstream package _merely_ because it was
accompanied by either J. Random PGP/gpg key or an MD5 sum, as any halfway
competent intruder would fake those, too.


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