Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
Code signing is a technology for verifying the authenticity of the publisher of a download to avoid a computer virus or malware. Software signed with a digital signature is considered safe to download. Unsafe or unrecognized software publishers may be identified by a pop-up indicating that the publisher or author is not recognized, and cautioning the user to be certain the download is from a worthy source.
Code signing software can identify hashing algorithms (types of electronic signatures) and authors of publishing codes through digital certificates. These certificates use protection technology such as public and private encryption keys. The publisher's private key may be identified from the digital certificate. This protective technology is widely adapted and just one of several measures to prevent the spread of computer viruses.
Distribution security is considered a big advantage of code signing. It makes mirror sites impossible and provides software developers much control over their rights protected works. However, code signing cannot promise total protect aggressive and sophisticated viruses. Rather, it primarily ensures that downloads have not been modified.