HOW TO: Download and use the BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool

Article:TECH148994  |  Created: 2007-01-19  |  Updated: 2011-02-07  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution


Where This article explains how to use the BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool to condition your key to work with the PGP Support Package for BlackBerry. This tool only supports keys created with PGP Desktop version 9.5.1 or greater. Please see the PGP RIM Integration Guide, Appendix C for more information.



The BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool can be downloaded in the attachment section below.

What does the BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool do?

The BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool can be used to automatically remove the attributes of a PGP key that are incompatible for use with BlackBerry hand held devices. The 9.5.x version of PGP Desktop and later also uses a newer algorithm for passphrase storage. This tool also converts the passphrase into the format that the BlackBerry can understand and use to decrypt PGP encrypted email.


Note: The passphrase format needs to be converted only when used in conjuction with the BlackBerry OS version 4.1. Version 4.2 and newer fully support the new passphrase format.

What attributes are changed on my key?

The BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool removes the Preferred Keyserver from the key as this is often used by a sender to determine how to format the email. The tool also ensures that only the following ciphers are enabled:  AES256, AES192, AES128, CAST, and TripleDES. It also removes the Bzip2 compression preference if set.

Instructions for use:

Step 1. Extract and run bbtool.exe 

Begin by executing bbtool.exe in the same directory as the DLL files that are provided with the tool. The introductory splash screen is displayed.

Step 2. Standalone or Bound to a PGP Universal Server?

If you are running an unbound copy (standalone) of PGP Desktop, you will see the warning dialog indicating that you must manually republish your key after running the BlackBerry key conditioner.

Step 3. Select Key

Select the key you wish to condition and enter the passphrase associated with the private key. If you have multiple keypairs on your keyring, you may select the keypair you wish to condition by selecting the down arrow shown here. If you are bound by a PGP Universal Server your default key will automatically be selected and you won't be able to select another key.

Step 4. Republish Key

If your copy of PGP Desktop Email is bound to a PGP Universal Server, the BlackBerry key conditioner will publish the new version of your key to PGP Universal Server. If you are using a stand-alone copy of PGP Universal Server, you must republish your key manually. Republishing is an essential step that permits your correspondents to view your BlackBerry compatible key properties. 


If you receive the error message Error-11402 - no secret key found error, your private key is not stored locally. Your key attributes must be modified manually by the administrator of your PGP Universal Server.

You may also receive the error message Error-11984-item not found, this simply indicates that an attribute that was searched for on your key wasn't found. Click OK to continue the conditioning of your key. 



BlackBerry Key Conditioning Preparation Tool (2.8 MBytes)

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