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What is a digital signature; Working method, advantages, applications and its differences with electronic signature

Study guide

With the virtualization of business and commerce, the need for secure transactions in this space became more and more felt, so researchers and entrepreneurs in the field of computers went to invent new methods to perform these transactions, which led to the invention of digital signatures. In recent years, the cryptocurrency market has flourished in our country, and one of the requirements for presence in this market is digital signature. In this note, we talk about what a digital signature is, how it works, its benefits and applications, and how it differs from an electronic signature.

What is a digital signature?

A digital signature is something uniquely similar to your fingerprint or paper signature, except that it is formatted in the form of computer codes and codes. Signature This signature is created using mathematical algorithms and connects to the data you intend to transfer. The recipient will verify the authenticity of the transmitted data by verifying your signature and verifying your identity as the sender.

How does a digital signature work?

To understand how a digital signature works, we need to go through the steps of making and sending it. Suppose you want to send a document electronically to someone. Of course, the document needs to reach the person in a safe way and you should be comfortable about manipulating it while sending. To do this, you need to go for digital signature.

In the first step, two keys are created based on a standard protocol called PKI. It is a private key and only available to you. There is also a public key that you can send to the recipient. It can be said that the private key is like your bank card password and the public key is like your unique card number that you give to others.

You will now sign the document using your private key. Note that when we say signature, we do not mean to write something or move a pen. This process takes place on your computer or mobile phone through the software that provides the digital signature platform.

Steps to do the job

If we want to explain this process in more detail, we must state the following steps:

  1. When you select a document to sign, your computer generates unique data called hashes.
  2. This hash is then encrypted with your private key.
  3. Now your document is encrypted with the hash, which is actually your digital signature sent to the recipient. In addition to this unique code, the signing time is also recorded. Now if the contents of the document change for any reason during the submission, the hash changes and it turns out that the document has been tampered with. Even if this manipulation is done by you, the signature will be invalidated and you will have to re-create a new signature (new hash) with your private key.
  4. By transferring the document, you also provide a copy of your public key to the recipient. The recipient computer can decrypt and validate the hash code using your public key. If he can not identify the hash code attached to the document or the submitted hash code does not match the hash code declared by the public key, it means that the document was either not sent by you (for example, it is the work of a scammer) or the document in The route has been manipulated. In both cases the validity of the submitted document is questioned.

Advantages of Digital Signature

Security is the most important advantage of digital signatures. Using this method, the sender and receiver make sure that data cannot be manipulated and that the identity of the signer does not change. Some of the security features of digital signatures include the following:

  • Use the username and password of the signer to determine the identity and authenticity of his signature.
  • Asymmetric cryptography: The use of highly sophisticated and unimaginable mathematical algorithms.
  • Credit Authority: The Credit Authority (CA) is a third-party entity that ensures the validity and authenticity of the signatures of the parties by providing services such as the issuance of private and public keys credit certificates to applicants. Therefore, it will not be possible to make fake public or private signatures.

Other benefits of this signature include:

  • Scheduling a Signature: By recording the date and time in this method, a digital signature can be used to make trades such as buying and selling stocks in which time plays an important role.
  • Global acceptance and legal validity: As digital signatures use an international protocol called PKI, more countries are recognizing this method in their legal laws.
  • Cost savings: Facilitate trade and reduce the legal and logistical costs of traditional trading.
  • Positive impact on the environment: By reducing the use of paper and fuel needed to transport them, carbon footprint is reduced.
  • Tracking: By digitally recording and recording data, it is possible to track them faster and more accurately.

In what areas is digital signature used?

This signature is used in various fields, which are mentioned below:

1. Government services

The number of countries in the world that recognize digital signatures is increasing day by day. With this signature, governments can move government documents with high security and low cost. This signature is also a good option for increasing the ease of doing business by governments, given the simplification of transactions. With the help of this signature, the speed of company registration, tax returns and other government services can be increased.

۲. Sanitation and Health

There is a lot of potential for digital signature in this area. For example, the process of prescribing and receiving medication can be made safe and fast using this method. It can also be used to record and transfer medical records.

3. Production and industry

In this section, digital signatures can also be used to protect factory documents and production plans. This signature can prevent industrial espionage and prevent theft and fraud in industrial designs.

4. financial services

Arguably the most widely used digital signature in this area. Banks and financial institutions can use this method to move documents between banks and customers in a safe and fast way. Global trade can be done much faster, much more securely, and at a much lower cost than conventional money transfer methods.

5. Currency code

One of the areas in which this tool plays a decisive role is cryptography. To enter this market and exchange passwords, you must use a digital signature. Using the private key, you will be able to access your account and make transactions.

Where is the private key stored?

Digital signature token and private key

We said that to use a digital signature, you need two types of keys, one of which is private and should only be available to you. But how can this virtual key be stored and maintained? You might say I memorize it like passwords, but a private key is not just a regular password, but a collection of special, long numbers and letters that one is unlikely to be able to memorize. Therefore, it is necessary to create a safe way to maintain it. In recent years, special flash drives have been developed for this purpose, called private key tokens or digital signature tokens. With these arrows you can use your private key whenever you want. The only thing is that you should take care of your flash and do not give it to anyone else.

What is the difference between a digital signature and an electronic signature?

Finally, it is worth noting the difference between the two types of virtual signatures, which are sometimes confused with each other.

An electronic signature is a paper signature whose scan and image are recorded on a computer. For example, some banks or post offices use a light pen to record people’s electronic signatures for banking or delivery. This method, although more secure than a paper signature, is still counterfeit.

While digital signatures, in addition to all the aforementioned advantages, include unique computer codes that cannot be forged or altered unless you have given the private key to someone else.






What is a digital signature; Working method, advantages, applications and its differences with electronic signature

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