Re: FTP using PGP

From: Robert Moir (
Date: 11/05/05

Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2005 08:50:29 -0000

Jake wrote:
> My client wants us to FTP data to them using FTP and PGP encryption.
> What would be the best method of achieving this? Presumably we would
> need an FTP client that supports PGP. Does Microsoft FTP support
> this? I also assume that they would need a server at their end that
> supports PGP. Any information on possible products would be greatly
> appreciated.

Alun and Johannes have already spoken about encrypting FTP data streams.

A quick note on the PGP side of the equation:

PGP is a method of encrypting files. It doesn't do anything to make the
actual transmission or receipt of files any more or less secure as such, it
just hopefully makes it very much more difficult for any unauthorised
persons to open the file if they do manage to get it.

Using this method reliably means that the people who are exchanging
information have to exchange decryption keys in order to be able to open
files. This exchange has to be done very securely (using a method that is
different to the method used for transmitting the data you're protecting,
for a start) and the keys need to be then stored very securely so that
unauthorised persons can't get hold of them and use them to open encrypted

You don't need to have FTP servers and clients that are "compatible" with
PGP any more than you need to have FTP servers that are compatible with
winzip in order to send a file to someone that you have zipped up; the
server is just sending a bunch of data wherever it is told to and this
doesn't change.

Rob Moir
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