Certificate Authority

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Certificate Authority

(cryptography, body)
(CA or "Trusted Third Party") An entity (typically a company) that issues digital certificates to other entities (organisations or individuals) to allow them to prove their identity to others. A Certificate Authority might be an external company such as VeriSign that offers digital certificate services or they might be an internal organisation such as a corporate MIS department. The Certificate Authority's chief function is to verify the identity of entities and issue digital certificates attesting to that identity.

The process uses public key cryptography to create a "network of trust". If I want to prove my identity to you, I ask a CA (who you trust to have verified my identity) to encrypt a hash of my signed key with their private key. Then you can use the CA's public key to decrypt the hash and compare it with a hash you calculate yourself. Hashes are used to decrease the amount of data that needs to be transmitted. The hash function must be cryptographically strong, e.g. MD5.

References in periodicals archive ?
The registration authority presents its opinion of the validity of the Subscriber's identity to the certificate authority, which in turn issues the subscriber a digital certificate and a "key pair.
The Certificate Authority Security Council is comprised of leading global Certificate Authorities that are committed to the exploration and promotion of best practices that advance trusted SSL deployment and CA operations as well as the security of the internet in general.
Thawte is now the second largest Certificate Authority in the world, with offices in South Africa and the United States and representatives in more than 22 countries.
VA is Certificate Authority neutral, compliant with FIPS 140-1, DOD JITC, IdenTrust, and Common Criteria standards, as well as part of the IdenTrust, SWIFT Trust Act, BACS and Global Trust Authority financial trust infrastructures.
The government created the Federal Bridge Certificate Authority (FBCA) to provide an environment in which Federal agencies can request and perform cross-certification with other PKIs, which allows all entities participating in the FBCA to recognize and trust digital signatures and certificates sent from and between participating organizations.
The BorderGuard 6000 Series includes a unique combination of Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP) with CRL checking and Blue Ridge Networks' own "Red List" function to give administrators real-time revocation and local certificate authorization capabilities, even when the certificate authority is under centralized control.
Leading the market in digital certificate technology, XRamp was the first Certificate Authority to offer 256 bit SSL certificates, the strongest encryption available to the general public.
Our stringent authentication and certificate issuance process is unparalleled in the industry, and that is the primary reason why businesses large and small are turning to XRamp as their Certificate Authority of choice.

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