Certificate Authority

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Related to Certificate Authority: Comodo

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 ?
1 November 2017 - New Jersey, US-based technology focussed private equity firm Francisco Partners has acquired a majority stake in Comodo's certificate authority business (Comodo CA Ltd.
The current Certificate Authority system cannot be trusted'
When applications encounter these certificates, the origin can be verified by inquiring with the issuing certificate authority to ensure the identity of the sender or website owner.
With Odyssey Certificate Authority, we've eliminated that headache for our customers.
The Swedish postal services provider Posten Sverige AB (Sweden Post) said on Wednesday (10 September) that it had decided to discontinue its Certificate Authority (CA) operations as part of its strategy to focus on core business operations.
You can issue yourself a certificate, but the certificate won't chain back to a known certificate authority.
It is also true that the Certificate Authority business is fairly new and somewhat volatile.
It is best to obtain client-side digital certificates from a valid certificate authority, as these allow for digital signature of documents.
The Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN) has announced the deployment of a Top-Level Certificate Authority Service.

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