Book of Verifications

Following is a record of select PGP keys and a description of the distinct methods used to independently verify each. Your mileage may vary.

Table of Contents

Verifying the Rocky Linux Official Signing Key

Key ID: 0x15AF5DAC6D745A60

I’m generally interested in software and systems calibrated for the enterprise environment (and when I say “enterprise,” I’m specifically referring to highly used, highly disruptive, environments easily targeted by highly trained attackers): so whether it’s for personal or professional use, I still treat it as potentially compromised binaries (i.e. I don’t install it) until I can verify their integrity and origin.

Unfortunately, the vendor was unable or unwilling to participate directly in verifying their key via exercise of its private key to decrypt a message I encrypted using their public key for the following reason given:

The private component of the signing key is in a vault that we cannot use nor access by normal means as it is used in automation … with these measures in place, we won’t be able to decrypt your gpg message.

The key in question here is used to sign releases of the enterprise operating system I was looking to evaluate: Rocky Linux.

The Process

Unable to derive assurance from a decrypted message from the vendor, I proceeded to build a logical path to sufficiently verify this key for my purposes:

  1. Located contact information or usable support channel for signer (via download page).
  2. Located prior self-attestation of key ownership (...5A60):
    • thread by community member, defractal; and
    • discovered GitHub profile of co-founder, and Team Admin, Neil Hanlon via thread containing self-attestation of key fingerprint and cross-signature.
  3. Located and independently verified affirmation and use of vendor’s signing key via Issue #205

Keys Verified

Using this process, ownership the following keys were minimally verified to a reasonable extent for my purposes:

  • 7051 C470 A929 F454 CEBE 37B7 15AF 5DAC 6D74 5A60
    Rocky Linux (Rocky Linux Official Signing Key)
  • 091A 4404 7C3D 8B7A 331F 5E18 5489 E42B BBE2 C108
    Rocky Linux Testing (Rocky Linux Testing Key)
  • BFC3 D8F2 0D15 F4FD 4628 1D7F AA65 0F52 D6C0 94FA
    Core Infrastructure (Compose Signing Key)