can i Use a Raspberry Pi as a air gap set up?

I have heard that some people will use a separate computer for decrypting messages. When they revive a message they will put it on a thumb drive and then they will carry it to a separate computer that is not connected to the internet, they will then decrypt the message.

Would the Raspberry Pi be a good computer for the decrypting of messages encrypted with RSA?

  • 2
    Why not. RSA is not that CPU intensive. Nothing the Pi can't handle. – Gerben Aug 3 '13 at 20:03

I have a Certification Authority set up in a Raspberry Pi, with an Air Gap model, running xCA, which runs great on the Pi, by the way.

It can do even asymetric cryptography without problems, but I would say you have to measure the amount of cryptography and the response time you need, given that very large amounts of data can take a while to process. I don't think that will be a problem, though.

As for scruss answer about the Pi not handling USB insertion/removal right, considering I don't think you will be doing that many times per hour, so, if a reboot is acceptable (as it is in my case) it doesn't turn out to be a real issue.


I'd say no.

Not because of lack of computing power — Gerben's comment is dead right — but because the Raspberry Pi doesn't handle external USB insertion/removal well. Some models will reboot on inserting a USB device.

  • Doesn't an externally powered USB hub more or less solve that issue? – Josh Wright Sep 6 '13 at 3:58
  • Not entirely reliably, in my experience. – scruss Sep 6 '13 at 14:24

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