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2.6. How does PGP handle multiple addreses?




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This article is from the PGP FAQ, by Jeff Licquia jalicqui@prairienet.org with numerous contributions by others.

2.6. How does PGP handle multiple addreses?

When encrypting a message to multiple addresses, you will notice that
the length of the encrypted file only increases by a small amount for
each additional address. The reason that the message only grows by a
small amount for each additional key is that the body of the message
is only encrypted once using a random session key and IDEA. It is only
necessary then to encrypt this session key once for each address and
place it in the header of the message. Therefore, the total length of
a message only increases by the size of a header segment for each
additional address. (To avoid a known weakness in RSA when encrypting
the same message to multiple recipients, the IDEA session key is
padded with different random data each time it is RSA- encrypted.)

 

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