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Outlining the minimum requirements for OV Code Signing certificate issuance. (Effective February 1, 2017)

As of February 1, 2017, Certification Authorities (CA) trusted by Microsoft Windows must issue code signing certificates  in accordance with the Minimum Requirements for OV Code Signing.

The new requirements are designed to make OV Code Signing (CS) certificates more secure, specifically, higher protection of the private key. As of February 1, 2017 all CS certificates must be issued using a secure method such as a hardware crypto module/HSM FIPS 140-2 level 2 certified:
  • USB, PCI and Rackmount HSMs
  • Secure cloud-based hosting service (e.g., Azure Key Vault, Amazon Web Services Cloud HSM, Google Cloud HSM)
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
  • (Non-HSM) USB drive* (note that the use of a non-HSM drive for a Code Signing certificate requires extra protection of the physical drive it is stored upon, including locking the drive in a safe place and only having the drive inserted into your device only when you are signing code)
A USB Token (HSM) is to be included with the purchase of OV Code Signing certificates from Entrust. The list of hardware security modules (HSMs) shown above are listed in order of the most expensive to least expensive HSM solution. 

Key items from the updated requirements:
  • Private keys must be stored using a secure method such as a hardware crypto module/HSM FIPS 140-2 level 2 certified.
    • An HSM USB Token is included with the purchase of Entrust Code Signing Certificate license.
    • Subscribers can also use any third-party HSM or Cloud Service that meets the FIPS 140-2 level 2 requirements.
  • The new requirements create a security standard that can allow for 135 month time-stamping certificates, so your OV code signing signature could be valid for more than 10 years.
  • Malware researchers or an application software suppliers may request a Certification Authority  to revoke a subscriber's OV Code Signing Certificate if proven it has been compromised to sign malicious code.
  • If the private key is not secured using the method listed above the Certification Authority must revoke the certificate; a replacement certificate may be issued but the Certification Authority must ensure that the private key is stored using one of the qualified methods.
The complete document that outlines the entire requirements for issuance of OV Code Signing certificates can be found here.

Microsoft's article relating to these new requirements can be found here.

Entrust is dedicated to implementing Best Practices in design, implementation and management of digital security, including the issuance of OV Code Signing certificates. 

You can see our technote about Code Signing Best Practices here for further information.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Entrust Certificate Services Support department for further assistance: 

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