Spreading malicious scripts by offering free software or script is one of the widely spread way and over millions of users get affected because of it. Obviously anti-virus software is the way to prevent it but they also have its own limitations. Then which is the best way to identify whether the code is legit or not? Well, code signing certificate is the answer. Now a days, most of the software publisher use code signing certificate to digitally sign their creation to verify the author’s identity. In this article, I will explain what is code signing certificate, its benefits and where to buy information.
In today’s world, mostly everyone are getting accustomed to internet with the potentiality to grow their business and to get more exposure. It’s not new that as the technology is making its presence that much the security flaws are coming in light. In order to protect your information from the harmful activities it is important to keep your data secured enough that any alteration can’t be done. Several types of security is available as per the need.
One type of information security is Code Signing Certificate. It’s a type of a digital certificate which helps users to know that your files are secured to download. It helps the users by saying that the software or any file which they are downloading are secured and it’s not altered by any hacker and it can be trusted.
Code Signing Certificate: What is it?
There are several websites which offers different type of applications and Active-X controls which can be downloaded and run on to computer. It would be great, if a person can know that whether the code of the software which they are downloading is reliable or not, before they install it on their devices. But another question arises, how users can know about this. Code Signing Certificates, helps over here. It provides information to users that whether the code is coming from the trusted party or not. Apart from providing information of the party from whom the code is published, it also helps in protecting the code from getting altered. In return it’s beneficial for the publishers of the code, as they become more trustworthy for users.
Code Signing Certificates are one type of file which contains digital signature, it is used for signing files like scripts and executable applications.
These Code Signing Certificates are offered by CAs ( SSL Certificate Authorities), and these certificates have the permission to identify the companies who has generated the code, who is the publisher of the software source code, by offering them to sign codes which are legal and original.
Code Signing Certificates are similar to those hologram seals which we often see in real-world software packages which is one type of sign that it has come from trusted publisher and it’s genuine. These type of certificates are tested by operating system offering different types of files, drivers and scripts to check its ability on how it’s operating in the OS. If any of the files are not signed then the OS will be more restrictive in its process. You also need to fulfill these minimum requirement to issue code signing certificate.
Process of Code Signing Certificate:
After purchasing your Code Signing Certificate from the CAs (SSL Certificate Authorities), download your OS compatible code signing engine. By the help of this downloaded code signing engine, you will be able to select the code that you are willing to sign and you can do it with the certificate token that you’re provided.
Once the code is signed, it will contain information like time-stamp, details of your company which shows the user from where the code has come and it’s not altered. The Code Signing Certificates offers Signs for files like device drivers, applications, operating systems, web applications, packaged software and utility software.
Offers a digital “shrink-wrap” means, your content will get a unique digital fingerprint. Once you request this SSL certificate, the CA offers you with a private key to retain for your use & a public key which can be distributed among users. These provided keys are your signature, which verifies that nothing has been changed and provides the access to the users.
Benefits of Using Code Signing Certificate:
- It allows to protect files and software from theft, malware or any tampering.
- Code Signing Certificates assures the partners and distributors of the software that the user of their software will not face any problem and their data will remain safe.
- It helps the publisher in gaining the confidence that their developed software is safe enough to be used by others.
- Due to Code Signing Certificates, it becomes easy to detect any malicious files during the digital signing of the code.
- You can sign active content like ActiveX, Macros, Java Applets & MIDlet (J2ME), for the distribution of secured electronic over the Internet.
- Offers the benefit of OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol).
- Supports CRL (Certificate Revocation List).
It supports multiple platforms such as,
- Microsoft Authenticode – which can sign .exe, .cab, .dll, .ocx, .msi, .xpi, .ActiveX Controls & Kernel Software.
- Adobe Air Extensions – like .air & .airi files, Apple software, applications, plug-ins, and contents of MAC OS desktops.
- Mozilla & Netscape browsers – like signing Mozilla XPI packages for Firefox & files for Netscape Objects.
- Macros & Visual Basic Applications – such as VBA objects, scripts and macros within Microsoft Office.
From where to Buy?
It’s very sure that you might be thinking from where to buy a Code Signing Certificate for yourself, as there are several certificate authorities available in today’s date. All are trying to provide their best. If you have already chosen from where to get it’s great, if you haven’t, I would say you can go for the branded CAs and also look for those re-sellers that offers branded certificates with affordable price range and 24×7 technical support to solve any query regarding any problem related to certificate installation.