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I haven't used PGP in ages and since then I most likely lost the keys. I want to revoke them regardless and I do have the revocation keys printed in paper. I already typed and proof-read them a couple of times, now what?

I tried just importing them as keys and after I got rid of checksum errors I get this error from http://pgp.mit.edu:

Add failed: Malformed Key --- unexpected packet type and/or order of packets

I downloaded the GPGtools for MacOSX and downloaded my public keys, but it doesn't do anything when I try to import the revocations into it.

How should I revoke them?

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1 Answer

The easiest way in this case is probably using the command line. Here's what you need to get started:

  1. A copy of the public key (from the key server, for example) saved to a file, let's say key.pub

  2. A copy of the revocation certificate, saved to a file, let's say revoke.txt

  3. Some form of gpg. If you have installed GPGtools, you should be set to go.

First: import the public key into your keyring

$ gpg --import key.pub

The computer says:

gpg: key 07F04249: public key "Not my key <test@example.com>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

If you want to check your work, you can list the keys that have been imported:

$ gpg --list-keys

The computer says:

pub   1024D/07F04249 2011-11-08
uid                  Not my key <test@example.com>
sub   2048g/82DDA00F 2011-11-08

Second: import the revocation certificate

$ gpg --import revoke.txt

The computer says:

gpg: key 07F04249: "Not my key <test@example.com>" revocation
     certificate imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:    new key revocations: 1

Check your work again:

gpg --list-keys

The computer replies:

pub   1024D/07F04249 2011-11-08 [revoked: 2011-11-08]
uid                  Not my key <test@example.com>

Finally: Upload the revoked key

gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --send-keys 07F04249

Of course, replace 07F04249 with the id of your public key (which you can see in the output of the list-keys command).

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