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libgfshare-bin - utilities for multi-way secret-sharing… more info»

Library for Shamir Secret Sharing in the Galois Field 2**8 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ This library implements what is known as Shamir Secret Sharing. This entails encoding a secret as an integer and then constructing a polynomial whose coefficients are random and calculating coordinate pairs along the resultant curve. These coordinate pairs are considered 'shares' and by controlling the order of the polynomial we can control the number of shares required to be able to recover the secret. In this manner we can split a secret into any 'C' shares, any 'T' of which can be used to recover the secret. This would be useful, for example, in looking after GPG secret keys used rarely, but whose security is paramount. For example a key used to sign the key which signs the Debian or Ubuntu package archives. If you wish to know more about how the secret sharing works and why it is safe, then there exist many articles on the mathematics behind it. This particular implementation was very heavily inspired by the work of Mark D. Wooding (mdw) in his catacomb library. Thanks go to Mark for offering to share this implementation with me. Using the library is very easy. The tests and sample tools are very straightforward and the header file tells you what each function is used for. -- Daniel Silverstone. 2006-01-15 Recovering from previous versions of gfsplit producing foo.000 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The quick version: if you have split a secret into shares and one of them is numbered 000, recover the secret by re-labelling it to 001 (i.e. rename the file, if you're using gfcombine). Previous versions of libgfshare could incorrectly produce a share numbered 000, and the gfsplit utility would produce such a share sometimes (with the default settings, a 3-of-5 share, this will happen about 2% of the time). In gfsplit this produces filenames ending with ".000". Mathematically, the "share" numbered 0 would be the secret itself, which is why it shouldn't be used. However, due to the way libgfshare implements multiplication via exp/log tables, the output will actually be a copy of the data that would appear in share number 001, so the secret is not actually leaked. Recombining shares that include share number 000 doesn't work: it's silently ignored. If share 000 is renamed to share 001, recombination should work; the exception is if you already had a copy of share 001, in which case you can only recover the secret by having one extra share above the normal threshold. -- Simon McVittie. 2009-11-18

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