Security

Verifying X.509 Certificates on Smart Cards

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Executive Summary

Smart cards are used as tamper-resistant devices for creating digital signatures, but usually not for verifying digital signatures of unknown origin. A reason for this is the difficulty of verifying X.509 certificates, i.e. electronic documents in the format defined in the ITU-T recommendation X.509 for binding a public key to its owner. The verification of digital signatures is usually carried out in the host PC. The public key of the root certification authority is stored as trust anchor on the hard drive and must be protected there.

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