Certicom speeds digital signature verification

Certicom Corp. has developed a way to speed up the verification of digital signatures, company officials announced last week.

The new cryptography application, Fast ECSDA Verify, will help computers process large amounts of data more quickly and aid machines that have limited computing power, officials from the Ontario, Canada-based company said.

Those benefits will lead to more efficient microprocessor use and make strong cryptography available to more applications, company officials said.

Computers running the elliptic-curve digital signatures algorithm (ECDSA) usually take 221 milliseconds to verify a digital signature, company officials said. Certicom boasts that Fast ECDSA Verify takes only 158 milliseconds, 40 percent faster.

Fast ECSDA Verify will help users of Certicom’s Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), public-key encryption technology, to guard mission-critical national security information, company officials said.

The National Security Agency uses ECC technology and recommends its use to the rest of the federal government and to companies that develop and sell hardware and software to the government.

“Digital signatures are incredibly important for e-commerce, e-passports, smart cards and many other applications – anywhere you need to provide authentication and integrity,” said Scott Vanstone, founder and executive vice president for strategic technology at Certicom, in a statement. “Consequently, this improvement to the verification process has far-reaching implications for government and the private sector.”

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