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Old 10-21-2007, 09:35 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: Debian Testing
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Encryption with openssl and gpg


I have begun encrypting some of my tar archives for security. I was wondering, which is safer:

tar -cf - files | gpg --cipher-algo aes256 -c -o - > file
tar -cf - files | openssl aes-256-cbc -salt > file

I guess my question boils down to this: which is better to use for encrypting individual archives, openssl or gpg.

Also, does my password have to be a true random sequence (like something from `openssl rand [length] -base64`) to be secure with these programs (or do these programs hash the passwords so that is not necessary)?

Thanks for any help.

Old 10-22-2007, 04:13 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I could really comment on which one is 'safer'. That is, if they both are using 256 AES, then the theoretical security is equal, the only differences in security would be things like how well they protect their memory spaces from being swapped, etc. However, I would go with gpg, because it's really meant for this kind of thing. That is, openssl is really the solution for encrypting streams (http connects, ssh, etc) and gpg is a solution for block encryption (files, things of fixed length).


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