Securing Software Distribution with Digital Code Signing

Posted by on October 16, 2013 5 comments

Code signing certificates from publicly trusted Certification Authorities (CAs) fulfill a vital need for authentication of software distributed over the Internet in our interconnected world. As the commonly referred to “Internet of things” continues to grow, consumers have access to millions of applications for their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Creative software engineers provide us with applications to cover any of our potential needs or interests. Cybercriminals and others with malicious intent recognize this as an opportunity and seek to trick us into installing...

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Certificate Authority Audits and Browser Root Program Requirements

Posted by on October 15, 2013 6 comments

Recent news stories have highlighted the need for strong security in online communications, and use of SSL certificates issued by a publicly trusted Certification Authority (CA) is perhaps the best way to achieve that. But why should the public trust SSL certificates issued from commercial CA roots, which are embedded as trust anchors in web browsers? One answer is because of the multiple layers of standards and tough requirements that all commercial CAs must meet – and for which they are audited every year. These standards and requirements have increased from year to year over the past...

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The (Soon to Be) Not-So Common Name

Posted by on October 8, 2013 0 comments

If you are reading this post you are probably already familiar with the use of digital certificates and SSL even if you may not be familiar with the history. Before exploring the history of SSL, let’s review at its core what a digital certificate actually is. Fundamentally, a digital certificate is the binding of entitlements and constraints to a key, in other words a digital certificate would dictate the following, “The holder of the private key associated with this certificate can rightfully use the name John Smith when signing emails.” When originally conceived Digital...

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