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Digital Signature

Posted by Ravi shankar on March 3, 2009

A Digital Signature is basically a way to ensure that an electronic document (email, spreadsheet, text files, etc) is authentic. Authentic means that you know who created the document and you know that it has been altered in any way since that person created it.
It is alse defined as an electronic signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document, and possibly to ensure that the original content message or the document that has been sent is unchanged.
A Digital Signature contains the digital signature of the certificate-issuing authority so that anyone can verify that the certificate is real.

There are three basic types of digital signature certifcates:

Class-1 Certificate: They are personal email Certificate that allow you to secure your email messages. These certificates can be used to: Digitally sign email, Encrypt Email and Authenticate to Web Server. They do not facilitate the strong authentication of the identity of the subscriber.

Class-2 Certificate: They are issued as Managed Digital Certificates to employees/partners/affiliates/customers of business and government organisation that are ready to assume the responbsibility of verifying the accuracy of the information submitted by their employees/partners/affilates/customers.The entire organisation is treates as a Sub-CA/RA. The organisation is given a digital certificate signed by TCS-CA to initiate the process of issuing Certificate to its employees/partners/affiliates/customers. The Sub-CA/RA in return request the issue of Digital Certificate of the organisaition from TCS-CA. The verification of details supplied with the request for a Digital Certificate is done by the organization appointed as a Sub-CA/RA under the TCS-CA Trust Network.
The certificate are legally valid under the Indian IT Act 2000.

Class-3 Certificate: They are issued to individual, companies, and government organisation. They can be used both for personal and commercial purpose. They are typically used for electronic commerce applications such as electronic banking, electronic data interchage (EDI), and membership-based online services, where security is a major concern.
During the verification you need to be physically present before a Registration Authority (RA), qualified by TCS-cA due to their neutrality and reliability. These validation procedure provides stronger assurance of an applicant’s identity.

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