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Quality Digest


NIST Seeks Public Comment on a Digital Signature Standard

Published: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 22:00

The National Institute of Standards and Technology is soliciting public comment on proposed changes to a standard to protect and verify the integrity of electronic data. “Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 186-3-Digital Signature Standard” (DSS) would be used by federal agencies and private sector organizations. It would replace the current standard, FIPS 186-2, and specifies methods that would enable a higher degree of data protection. Currently, FIPS 186-2 specifies the use of three algorithms to generate digital signatures: the digital signature algorithm, the elliptic curve digital signature algorithm, and the RSA algorithm. A proposed change would also allow federal agencies to use the Public-Key Cryptography Standard 1 to generate RSA digital signatures.

The standard has been updated twice since its original publication in 1994 to incorporate enhanced security measures. Along with several new additions, the draft carries forward several requirements, including those contained within two American National Standards Institute standards.

A draft of an accompanying document to FIPS 186-3, NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-89, “Recommendation for Obtaining Assurances for Digital Signature Applications,” is also available for public comment. This document defines requirements for obtaining the assurances necessary for valid digital signatures.

The comment periods for SP 800-89 and FIPS 186-3 close on April 28 and June 12, respectively. For more information, visit www.nist.gov.


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