What are Code Signing Security Certificates Used For?

If you go online and search for software, you can find a lot of innovative and exciting programs available. Some are freeware and others are shareware and even if you pay upfront, today's software programs are becoming more sophisticated, helpful and user friendly. In fact, it can be difficult to decide which program to try next, whether it's for personal or business use. Yet, there is one major hurdle to overcome. How can you be sure you are not getting something with an unexpected payload inside? One of the best methods for checking software involves the use of code signing security certificates. What is code signing and why is it so valuable in the 21st Century? Let's look closer to see.

If you go online and search for software, you can find a lot of innovative and exciting programs available. Some are freeware and others are shareware and even if you pay upfront, today's software programs are becoming more sophisticated, helpful and user friendly. In fact, it can be difficult to decide which program to try next, whether it's for personal or business use. Yet, there is one major hurdle to overcome. How can you be sure you are not getting something with an unexpected payload inside? One of the best methods for checking software involves the use of code signing security certificates. What is code signing and why is it so valuable in the 21st Century? Let's look closer to see.

What is Code Signing?

Most people are familiar with website SSL certificate applications, but let's touch on this briefly, because there are some parallels between HTTPS website technology and code signing. A website conducting ecommerce takes in personal financial information like credit or debit card, bank account or PayPal data. Website security certificates make it very convenient for people to order many things they need. However, buyers want assurance they are dealing with a trusted and reputable company.

The company goes to a reputable authority like Comodo for security certificates. They install the certificate so the website server can communicate with the buyer's browser in confidence. The certificate also verifies that the company is a trusted source, because the authority has vouched for them. Now, let's talk about code signing certificates.

When a software developer wants to sell a program he or she contacts a trusted certificate authority (like Comodo) to purchase code signing security certificates. This serves the same general purpose of a website secure sockets layer certificate except it vouches for the authenticity of the software developer.

How Do Code Signing Security Certificates Work?

Code signing uses what is known as a "digital signature". Digital signatures consist of three sets of instructions (algorithms):

  • User (not authority) computer chooses a randomly selected private key and a public key which matches it.
  • Signing instructions are given a private key and authenticating data which creates the digital signature.
  • Algorithm is used to verify the digital signature. When presented with the signature, authenticating data and the public key, it will verify and accept the signature, but only under these circumstances.
Function of Public and Private Keys

The public key uses info from the private key and the authenticating data to verify the signature. It is important to remember that only security certificates holders (software developer) have access to private keys. Not even the authority retains possession. The developer submits a request for a certificate along with the public key. This is the data used to create the certificate.

Here is how a typical scenario may play out. A developer contacts an authority about code signing security certificates. The developer must prove his or her identity to the authority. At this time, both public and private keys are created for the digital signature.

The authority issues the certificate (once the identity has been verified) and with the private key, the developer can then sign his program code. This data (along with a timestamp becomes part of the software code). When someone wants to download the software, they also download the developer's digital signature which has been properly verified. The user's web browser can then verify the signature (just like with SSL verification for websites) and lets the software user know that the program is safe.

Benefits of Comodo Code Signing Security Certificates

When you buy a code signing certificate from Comodo you'll enjoy these benefits:

  • Identity verification from the number one CA in the world - Comodo is the most used certificate authority on the planet.
  • Protects programs from tampering - keep others from forging your software and inserting dangerous malware programs.
  • Can be used on any platform - works with Java, VBA, Adobe Air, Apple and Windows XP and later versions.
  • Protects software vendors - makes it easy for others to sell your products.
  • Improve sales through customer assurance
  • Simple and easy installation

To learn about the many benefits you can receive from Comodo code signing security certificates, visit us online now at https://www.instantssl.com/ or simply call 1-888-266-6361 today.

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