VeriSign extends digital certificate services

VeriSign on Wednesday announced that it has extended its managed digital certificate services to allow smart card and other manufacturers to embed digital keys and certificates into their products.

The smart card authentication service is designed to increase the production quantities of digital certificate-based smart cards so companies can quickly develop and provide them for consumer and business applications, VeriSign said in a statement. A digital certificate, in general, offers identification information, such as the name, serial number and expiration dates for a user, and also the public key and digital signature from the certification authority to provide a method of securing and authenticating the certificate.

VeriSign is working with leading card producers Gemplus International SA, Schlumberger Ltd. and Oberthur Card Systems SA to integrate the technology into their smart cards, the company said.

VeriSign's service seeks to put digital certificates into mobile phones, cable modems and set-top boxes, along with smart-card applications like banking, health care and national identification cards, the company said. The company first made its service for digital certificates available in bulk to cable modem manufacturers in July 2000, VeriSign said.

VeriSign's digital certificate technology is compatible with standards set forward by the European Union.

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