`sig` lines in my GPG key what are they for and how to remove?

Summary

: This article provides an explanation of what `sig` lines in a GPG key are used for, as well as instructions on how to remove them.

GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) is a free software implementation of the OpenPGP standard. It allows users to encrypt and sign their data, ensuring that only authorized parties can access it. When a user generates a GPG key, they have the option to include subkeys, which are essentially smaller keys that serve specific purposes. One such type of subkey is a signature subkey, indicated by the presence of `sig` lines in the key’s public and private components.

A signature subkey is used to sign other keys or messages, providing authentication and integrity protection. When a user signs a key with their signature subkey, they are essentially vouching for the authenticity of that key. This can be useful when sending sensitive information to others, as it ensures that the recipient’s public key is indeed owned by the person they claim to be.

To remove a `sig` line from your GPG key, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Export your private key using the following command:
“`
gpg –export-secret-keys
“`
Replace `` with the ID of the key you wish to edit. This will generate a file containing your private key in ASCII armor format (e.g., “key.asc”).

2. Open the exported file in a text editor and locate the `sig` line that you want to remove. It should look something like this:
“`
sec rsa4096/
created:
trust: ultimate
validity: ultimate
ult_level: 10000
ssb rsa4096/
created:
trust: ultimate
validity: ultimate
ult_level: 10000
“`
The `ssb` line is the signature subkey, which you want to remove.

3. Delete the entire `ssb` line from the file, making sure not to delete any adjacent lines or characters.

4. Save the file and exit your text editor.

5. Import the modified private key back into GPG using the following command:
“`
gpg –import key.asc
“`
This will replace your existing private key with the modified version.

6. Verify that the `sig` line has been removed by exporting your public key and checking for its presence in the output:
“`
gpg –export
“`
If the `ssb` line is no longer present, then you have successfully removed the `sig` line from your GPG key.

Previous Post

A secure way to encrypt a connection between 2 clients securing against both passive and active adversaries

Next Post

2FA: Difference between Storing Backup Codes & Secret Key

Related Posts