One of the larger questions facing the software industry is: How can I trust code that is published on the Internet?
Code signing is the process of digitally signing executables and scripts to confirm the software author and guarantee that the code has not been altered or corrupted since it was signed by use of a cryptographic hash.[Wikipedia]
This means that code signing can provide several valuable features:
– provide identity of the software when deploying – as can be seen in the picture below, it is reassuring to know that the binary comes from the producer of the software.
– provide proof of the authenticity that the code has not been altered in any way
– in some programming languages, it can also be used to help prevent namespace conflicts.
Almost every code signing implementation will provide some sort of digital signature mechanism to verify the identity of the author or build system, and a checksum to verify that the object has not been modified. It can also be used to provide versioning information about an object or to store other meta data about an object.
There are multiple ways to sign code. Microsoft has put together all available methods in this article.
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