Sending Sensitive Information

We recommend that you encrypt sensitive information in email to protect it from being viewed by unintended recipients. We prefer OpenPGP standard cryptography, which usually means Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) or the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG or GPG). However, can use S/MIME or other methods on a case-by-case basis.

Those unable to use PGP can contact us at <> or <+1 412-268-5800> to arrange alternative methods.

We also encourage you to check the PGP signature on email and documents to ensure that they were produced by the CERT key and have not been altered.


As a good security practice, be sure to validate PGP keys you receive and do not trust unvalidated keys. In the past, forged CERT PGP keys have been created and uploaded to public keyservers. It is important to validate your copy of the CERT PGP public key to ensure it is legitimate.

Get our PGP public key from the CERT website.

Our current PGP key has the following properties:

  CERT PGP Key Information
  Key ID: 0x8C310267
  Key Type: RSA
  Expires: 2017-09-30
  Key Size: 4096
  Key Fingerprint: 1EB5 7A29 D76C 3B94 99F2  8457 E695 0F0C 8C31 0267
  UserID: CERT Coordination Center <>

The CERT PGP keys have an operational life span of approximately one year. When we generate a new key, it will be available from this web page, and we will announce the change.

Call us at +1 412-268-5800 to verify the fingerprint:
1EB5 7A29 D76C 3B94 99F2 8457 E695 0F0C 8C31 0267

Obtaining GnuPG or PGP


GNU Privacy Guard is an OpenPGP-compliant application that is freely available.

The GnuPG site provides details for the most appropriate software based on your operating system. Please note that the "version compiled for MS-Windows is a command-line version and comes with a graphical installer tool." For a graphical interface, you may also consider the options below.

Microsoft Outlook users on Windows may use Gpg4win, which provides GnuPG and graphical interfaces for key management, including some limited integration with Microsoft Outlook email clients. You may obtain Gpg4win here.

Thunderbird users on any platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) may also use Enigmail as a graphical interface to GnuPG. You may obtain Enigmail here, and Thunderbird here. A tutorial for using Enigmail and Thunderbird from the FSF is also available.

Linux users may also use KMail, which contains integration with GnuPG through the Kleopatra and KGpg programs. KMail may be obtained from your distribution repositories.

Symantec Desktop Email Encryption

Symantec offers a range of PGP products, including Symantec Desktop Email Encryption. Symantec offers a free 30-day trial period. You may obtain the software from the Symantec Desktop Email Encryption page.