What is Digital Certificate, Digital Signature

What is Digital Certificate, Digital Signature

The Digital Certificate is a part of Cryptography that establishes communication between an end-user and a website. It is given to the public key holders to keep the count of the public keys in Asymmetric Encryption Cryptography and to make sure only authorized users are accessing the security applications of Public Key Infrastructure. The people who receive this certificate are certified to use the public key which contains their own identity information along with the information about the key and the signature of the issuer.

This key is used for authentication and encryption of the messages so even if the system is attacked by the hackers, the personal information will be kept safe because it is mathematically encoded and can only be decoded with one of the keys. Digital Certificate is also known by the names like public key certificate and Identity certificate and classified as an electronic password.

In order to start communication, a digital signature on the certificate needs to be verified. This signature belongs to the issuing authority in cases where the digital certificate is issued by a company to its’ employees and customers. In this process, the company or organization is called Certificate Authority (CA). But if we talk about more personal usages, a person who holds the private key can also be the issuing authority.

To not overcomplicate the matter and avoid extra efforts, people usually sign each other’s certificate which also builds mutual trust between them. A website will only trust you and lead you to a website if the signatures match otherwise it has no reason to trust you.

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In today’s time when the cyber crimes are inevitable and hackers almost invincible, Cryptography is one of the most trusted form of technology because it keeps the conversation private between the two person by encoding the messages which only the key holders can decode. To further build this mutual trust, the identity of the sender is disclosed but only to the receiver.

To create the digital signature, hash value is encrypted by private key and,  along with the message data, is send to the verifier.  Using the hash value is beneficial because it shortens the length of the message so it is transmitted and travels faster. The verifier uses the same hash to generate the hash value along with the verification algorithm, which are compared in the end and they must be equal.


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