Digital Signatures

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

In the new century with computers and computer technology advancing at an alarming rate, there have been new advances in person security and fraud. There have been many promising ideas over the years to make buying materials on the Internet or having something shipped to you safer from theft. Digital signatures being one of the many ideas that is currently being tested and used in many companies. In the United States, congress has passed the Millennium Digital Commerce Act, which gives digital signatures the same legal weight as pen and paper. This act has lately brought up some controversy over how secure they really are.

In order to know how digital signatures protect us, we must first look at how they work Lets take in for example that you want to send a email to a friend with your signature on it. Your friend has to verify that it originated from you.

In order to ensure this you are given two keys. One of the keys is the private key that you use to put your signature on your messages and the other key is given to the receiver of the message. The private key creates a code series based on a complex mathematical algorithm that is embedded in the message. The recipient then uses the public key that he received from you and unlocks the message. Companies like Verisign are already using this type of technology. They issue you a PIN that is unique to you and only you. This allows Verisign to make certain that they are dealing with the person that was assigned the ID. When you use the private key to send a message, you must input a password that only you know.

Microsoft has recently introduced that they are going into the Digital Signature...