Code Signing Certificate: Security for Executables

code signing certificate security for executables

Day in and day out, we install various executable files from the web which are relevant to our work. But while installing, sometimes a message is popped up, “This file can harm your computer”.

That means, along with those executable files, we also receive some malicious software that can harm our computer system.

So, a software development company must protect its software, which can get infected by some unwanted harmful software at the time of distribution across the web. A safe way to distribute uninfected software is by providing an executable signing certificate.

What is Code Signing Certificate?

A code signing certificate is an attachment of a distinct digital signature provided by Software developers and publishers along with their software products (executable files, applets, plugins etc.) for unique authentication.

Recommended: A Detailed Guide on Code Signing Certificates

What is Digital Signature?

A Signature validates the source, identity, and integrity of a document. Similarly, a digital signature authenticates an electronic document digitally. In this case, the software developers or publishers sign their products to ensure that they are safe to use by the browsers or operating systems at the users’ end.

Recommended: Guide on Digital Certificates vs Digital Signature

Process to Produce Code Signing Certificate

The process of producing code signing certificate follows few steps.

At the beginning, we need to purchase code signing certificate, which follows the organization as well as an extended validation method. On behalf of a company or as an individual, we can apply for a code signing certificate.

After receiving the application, the Certificate Authority (CA) starts verification process based on the application type (individual or a company). The certificate issued by CA validates the identity of the developers which builds the pillar of trust among the users regarding the source of the product.

On receiving the code signing certificates, we need to install them on the desired platform. The process of signing executables and scripts varies from platform to platform. A digital signature is used to sign the code, where a string of data is hashed.

Mainly, this hashed data ensures the developer’s identity and the integrity of the code. As a whole, a Digital signature determines the identity information on signing a software or application.

Finally, the signed software is being distributed where the users can view a signature at the time of downloading it. This signed software shows information regarding the identity of publishers and developers at the time of downloading.

It is a good practice to timestamp our code as it keeps the code valid even if the certificate is expired. Every certificate has a specific validity period. Users will not experience any unwanted warnings while downloading the software.

Recommended: What Happens Once Your Code Signing Certificate Expires?

Benefits of Digitally Signed Executable Files:

Executable files which are signed digitally provide the following benefits:

The receivers of executable files can rely on the sources (software developers, publishers etc) of those files as the sources are verified by authorized people (CAs).

In other way, the people who produces those executable files also get reliable information related to the verification of those files that they are not modified as they are digitally signed.

The end users of executable files are ensured that the files haven’t been modified or infected by any kind of viruses or malware.

Digitally Sign your Software or Application using Code Signing Certificate at the lowest price,starting at just $199.99/yr at

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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