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----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave Pawson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> On Fri, 2006-07-14 at 17:14 -0400, Mitch Amiano wrote:
>> An encrypted file need not be signed at all, and a signed file need not
>> be encrypted.
>> The two things - signing and encrypting - are distinct operations.
> Yes. I'm happy with that.
>> One you do to ensure no one can read the data that shouldn't be reading
>> The other you do to ensure that no one has tampered with data that
>> shouldn't be tampered with, while not necessarily encumbering the
>> ability to read it.
> I'd like both, hence the need to get them in the right order!
I think the answer to that is "It depends." If you don't want the person to
know who signed it until they've decrypted it (i.e. who signed it is a
secret), then sign and then encrypt. If you need to know who encrypted
before you can decrypt it (i.e. to select the right key or maybe just to
decide whether to decrypt it or not) then encrypt and then sign.
My recollection is that cryptographically one scheme is not necessarily
weaker than the other.
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