After checking the production or publisher’s identity, the code signing certificate acts as a wax seal. So, if anyone tampers with or changes the program or application, the user will be alerted by a warning sign that it is not protected.
Apart from this, the importance of Code Signing can be seen in the future after installation. You can for example make sure the updates are genuine and stable when the updates are signed with the same key after the program has been downloaded and any updates received.
So, how does Signing the Code work?
Code Signing is actually very similar in many respects to SSL, which is why many CAs sell both.
We will begin by looking at the method of acquiring, downloading, and using one:
You’re buying certificates
You pick the right code signing option for you, depending on whether you’re an organisation or a person. EV Code Signing Certificates are also available.
Your identification is confirmed by the CA
The process differs depending on whether you’re a corporation or a person, but it’s enough to say that the CA wants to make sure you’re who you say you are and that before they authenticate you, you’re working in good faith.
You install your certificate for Code Signing
This one is pretty easy to install on whatever device you’re using. You begin signing your scripts and executables. The actual signing process is done a little differently by each platform, but one thing is the same, where you add your digital signature. The digital signature is not really a signature at all, as we just mentioned, it is just a string of data that can be hashed to show your identity and if your nocode has been changed or not.
You distribute applications signed by you
The last move is this. You can start distributing it after you have signed your program/code. Your signature will be presented to everyone who continues to download and run it, which, if hashed, will show your identity as a programmer and whether or not the code has been tampered with since you released it. It is as plain as that, actually. Your digital signature includes information about your identity, and what you have signed exactly.
It’s suggested that you also timestamp your digital signature most of the time. The explanation for this is because Code Signing Certificates come with a validity period, like SSL Certificates. 1-3 years, typically. It informs the machine reading that signature through the time stamping of your digital signature that the programme was signed within the validity period of the Code Signing Certificate. This enables the signature to remain valid, even though it is no longer the Code Signing Certificate that signed it.
This is a fairly cursory description of how the Code Signing Certificates works. There you have it. Note, a Code Signing Certificate enables a programmer or developer to sign a string of data to their software that will represent their identity when hashed and inform the user whether the code has been changed at all.
It might not seem like much, but that little digital signature makes all the difference in the world of software creation or delivery. It protects the identity of customers of the developer and gives the developer peace of mind to download what the developing company needs.
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