ValiCert, a company delivering encryption technology and services for assuring the validity of digital certificates, announced global field trials of the first certificate validation service, the ValiCert Service, in partnership with leading digital certificate providers from Europe and South Africa. Initial participants in the field trial include international certificate authorities (CAs) Baltimore Technologies (Ireland and the European Union), BelSign (Europe) and Thawte (South Africa/USA).
ValiCert’s global field trial will provide validation of digital certificates using live data, aggregating an array of certificate revocation list (CRL) data from ValiCert’s CA service partners. These CA service partners will use the ValiCert Service to provide scalable validation services to assure the validity of their customers’ certificates across the global Internet. The CA service partners will feed all live data from their CRLs into the ValiCert Service.
The ValiCert Service trial provides a unique opportunity for application developers, enterprises deploying a public key infrastructure, as well as users of certificate-enabled applications and services to test them in a real- world setting using the first available global validation service. The trial will be capable of managing an average transaction rate of more than 30 million certificate validation requests per day.
“To be truly useful, a credit card must be able to be validated anywhere in the world, no matter where it was issued,” said Yosi Amram, president and CEO of ValiCert, Inc. “In the same way, issuers and users of digital certificates need a quick and cost-effective clearing mechanism to assure the validity of these electronic credentials anywhere in the world. The ValiCert service easily scales to meet the requirements of today’s global economy, and provides the first effective worldwide system to validate digital certificates.”
ValiCert’s field trial will begin in January 1998. For information about the ValiCert field trail, see .
Collaboration With Industry Leaders
“We are extremely pleased to partner with this group of leaders in the digital certification industry for our initial field trials,” said Chini Krishnan, chairman and chief technology officer of ValiCert. “This collaborative effort is an essential part of ValiCert’s goal of supporting a robust, scalable validation infrastructure.”
ValiCert’s CA partners in these trials — Baltimore Technologies, BelSign and Thawte — are among the earliest issuers of digital certificates to businesses and individuals.
Baltimore Technologies is a global developer of information security products and services for electronic commerce and Internet business. From their headquarters in Dublin, Baltimore Technologies operates the EuroTrust Trusted Third Party (TTP) infrastructure for electronic commerce throughout the EU. “Baltimore Technologies is excited by ValiCert’s global field trial and feel that this co-operation between leading security providers will accelerate the global expansion of electronic commerce,” said Fran Rooney, CEO of Baltimore Technologies.”
“EuroTrust is at the leading edge of developing a pan-European Trusted Third Party infrastructure exploring aspects of cross certification and authentication,” said Jack Nagle, general manager EuroTrust Services. “ValiCert will provide an ideal opportunity to further explore the logistics and operational issues of a global CA network.”
BelSign issues digital certificates for individuals and corporations to secure business and personal transactions across the Internet and intranets. “BelSign is providing an easy and convenient way to ensure that the participants in an electronic transaction can trust each other,” said Anthony Belpaire, CEO of BelSign. “We look forward to working with ValiCert in offering an important value-added service that will make the Internet a safe place for electronic commerce.”
Thawte is a global provider of security and privacy products and services. “Thawte offers a complete suite of certification services to individuals and organizations,” said Mark Shuttleworth, president and CEO of Thawte. “Given our focus on the creation of a simple, robust trust model for Internet commerce, the partnership with ValiCert makes enormous sense as we cooperatively play a role in the growth of secure online commerce.”
The ValiCert Service
The ValiCert Service is a scalable and network-efficient system for enterprises that are conducting communications and commerce across the Internet. The service enables certificate issuers to distribute all revocation data confirming the validity of a digital certificate in a timely, secure manner. It makes this data — traditionally associated with unscalable, network-intensive certificate revocation lists — easily available to applications and people that they wish to conduct business with around the world. It enables any application, server or person accepting certificates, regardless of its source, to be assured of the certificate’s validity.
The ValiCert Service is targeted at enterprises that are conducting broad- based Internet communications and commerce, as well as individuals using public certificate authorities. Commercial availability of the service is slated for 1998.
The ValiCert Service is part of the company’s comprehensive suite of offerings for certificate validity management, that also includes the ValiCert Toolkit(TM) and the ValiCert Server(TM).
The ValiCert Toolkit is targeted at software developers writing applications that consume certificates. By embedding the toolkit into their applications, vendors enable products to efficiently check certificate validity in Internet or intranet communications.
The ValiCert Server is targeted at enterprises that deploy certificate systems and provides all the technology necessary for confirmation issuance in an intranet setting. The ValiCert Server can also be embedded in certificate issuance and management systems utilized by third-party certificate authorities.
Digital certificates are gaining momentum and acceptance for use as electronic credentials for identification (comparable to a driver’s license or employee ID badge), for payment (comparable to a credit card), and for other communications or business transactions conducted over the Internet or corporate intranets today. As with the credit card industry, which developed a way to electronically validate the millions of credit card numbers issued by any bank in the world, the use of digital certificates requires its own clearinghouse network for certificate confirmation, so that individuals and businesses can assure the validity of any certificate.
ValiCert was established in February 1996 by a group of leading cryptographers and executives from the Internet security industry to build a broad validation infrastructure for electronic commerce. Utilizing technology based on an innovative cryptographic technique called certificate revocation trees, ValiCert delivers an efficient, scalable and transparent solution for checking the validity of digital certificates in any Internet or intranet transaction. The company is collaborating with a number of industry partners including Entegrity Solutions, Entrust Technologies, GTE CyberTrust and Netscape(R) Communications Corporation.
ValiCert is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif. and is available on the World Wide Web at , or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ValiCert, ValiCert Server, ValiCert Toolkit and the ValiCert Service are trademarks of ValiCert, Inc. Netscape is a trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation, which is registered in the United States and other jurisdictions.Details