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Atari ST: Is it theoretically possible to use GPG?

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I am interested in setting up a basic, secure email system on the Atari ST.

Does anyone know if the ST's processor would be able to encrypt /decrypt short messages in AES-128 (the current default for GPG)?

 

It looks like there was something called "Easy PGP" written for the Atari in 1995, but I haven't looked at it in detail yet. Since then, I can't seem to find anything significant.

 

Basically, my question is whether the ST would have the processing power to encrypt short text streams (approx 500 words)  in AES-128, in a timeframe that would make it usable for basic emails?

 

 

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I'm not into doing the math for you at this hour of the morning, but you might find this helpful.

https://www.cosic.esat.kuleuven.be/ecrypt/AESday/slides/AES-DAY-Gueneysu.pdf

 

The real question, when you say "secure mail system" are you talking about a mail client (that only has to deal with the emails for one person as they come in) or a mail server that will be handling larger volumes?  That could make a difference.

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How long is too long to wait?    Is there any reason to think it would take more than a few minutes?

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Well, that's the question.  I know a lot of people would consider "a few minutes" really way too long to open an email.

 

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Just now, Tillek said:

Well, that's the question.  I know a lot of people would consider "a few minutes" really way too long to open an email.

 

yeah, true,  I was thinking about outbound encryption where it wouldn't matter so much if it took a couple minutes to process before sending.

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You will want some kind of proxy (modern computer) in the middle to handle that part for you.

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En/decryption is the least of your problems. As you said, it's short messages, there's not that much needed from the CPU side.

 

What is much worse is the fact that most of the emails floating around these days are just wrapped html sites and downloading, converting and opening even a single jpg picture can take 10x longer than decrypting the whole message :D 

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18 hours ago, Tillek said:

....are you talking about a mail client (that only has to deal with the emails for one person as they come in) or a mail server that will be handling larger volumes?  That could make a difference.

A mail client that deals with very small volumes, for one person. More of an experimental, proof-of-concept system instead of something ready for general use.

 

Thank you for the link.

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16 hours ago, R.Cade said:

You will want some kind of proxy (modern computer) in the middle to handle that part for you.

Thanks for this suggestion. I am looking into the idea of using a modern computer attached to the ST, but not to the internet. This computer would do the encyption stage and then return the result to the Atari. This way, the Atari would serve as a defence-system between the insecure hardware of the 'proxy' doing the encryption, and the internet.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, mikro said:

What is much worse is the fact that most of the emails floating around these days are just wrapped html sites and downloading, converting and opening even a single jpg picture can take 10x longer than decrypting the whole message :D 

I hear you. It's a mess out there. If I was going to implement the system for day-to-day use, I would figure out a way to get the mail server to strip out all this junk, and leave only the PGP/GPG content for the Atari to process. Non GPG messages would get bounced. 

 

A stricter door policy is probably required if we are to wrestle the internet back into something sensible.

Edited by octo
typo

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