Code signing is a process in which a certificate which is digitally signed can be used to authenticate software and scripts. It also helps in verifying the author’s identity to assure the software will not do anything malicious. People who wish to use software designed by others should check for this as malware can cause serious issues. A code signing certificate, on the other hand permits one to use a private and public key. The private key is with the requestor and the public key is sent to the Certificate Authority.
Godaddy is a firm which helps in providing these certificates to relevant entities producing specific software, etc. It has become a very important feature with the advent of online marketing. There are so many companies selling software that is being used by online businesses that it has become increasingly difficult to determine which one is legitimate and which one is not.
Here is how the process works:
- The author should apply for a code signing certificate from a relevant certificate authority.
- The authority checks the identity of the author and issues a certificate.
- The author then creates a one way hash and encrypts the same using the private key.
- The hash and certificate are then packed with the executables.
- When the user has to use this software, he or she needs to decrypt the hash with the help of the public key.
- A new hash is created for the application, software, etc.
- The same is then compared with the hash on the certificate. If they match, the user can be certain that the software has not been changed since it was digitally signed.
Benefits of a code signing certificate:
- The user of the software or application is ensured that the same has not been altered after it has been signed.
- When the hashes are compared with one another, it will prove that the code which they have bought is genuine.
- The browsers found in most PCs do not accept any other downloaded codes other than those which have been certified.
- They are relatively simple to use.
The process is essentially a security system which helps in protecting one’s PC and the related applications and users.