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What is a Digital Signature ?

Digital Signature – Digital code that can be attached to an electronically transmitted message to uniquely identify the sender. Like a written signature, the purpose is to guarantee that the individual sending the message really is who he or she claims to be.

Definition – What does Digital Signatures mean?

digital signatures guarantees the authenticity of an electronic document or message in digital communication and uses encryption techniques to provide proof of original and unmodified documentation.

Digital signatures are used in e-commerce, software distribution, financial transactions and other situations that rely on forgery or tampering detection techniques.

A digital signatures is also known as an electronic signature.

Free Merchant Terminal explains Digital Signatures

A digital signatures is applied and verified, as follows:

  • The document or message sender (signer) or public/private key supplier shares the public key with the end user(s).
  • The sender, using his private key, appends the encrypted signature to the message or document.
  • The end user decrypts the document and verifies the signature, which lets the end user know that the document is from the original sender.The Digital Signatures Standard is intended to be used in electronic funds transfer, software distribution, electronic mail, data storage and applications which require high data integrity assurance. The Digital Signatures Standard can be implemented in software, hardware or firmware.The algorithm used behind the Digital Signature Standard is known as the Digital Signature Algorithm. The algorithm makes use of two large numbers which are calculated based on a unique algorithm which also considers parameters that determine the authenticity of the signature. This indirectly also helps in verifying the integrity of the data attached to the signature. The digital signatures can be generated only by the authorized person using their private keys and the users or public can verify the signature with the help of the public keys provided to them. However, one key difference between encryption and signature operation in the Digital Signature Standard is that encryption is reversible, whereas the digital signature operation is not. Another fact about the digital signature standard is that it does not provide any capability with regards to key distribution or exchange of keys. In other words, security of the digital signature standard largely depends on the secrecy of the private keys of the signatory.

    The Digital Signature Standard ensures that the digital signature can be authenticated and the electronic documents carrying the digital signatures are secure. The standard also ensures non-repudiation with regards to the signatures and provides all safeguards for imposter prevention. The standard also ensures that digital signed documents can be tracked.

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