Verisign aims to secure wireless transactions
January 19, 2000
by Paul Krill
(IDG) -- SAN JOSE, Calif. -- At the RSA Conference 2000 show here on Monday, VeriSign unveiled a set of technologies, services, and alliances to promote trusted, wireless Internet commerce.
Citing the growth in usage of wireless devices, VeriSign Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Richard Yanowitch said that the initiative is intended to provide "a complete trust infrastructure to the wireless world."
Key to the plan is an arrangement whereby Motorola will include the Verisign technology in the browsers that run on Motorola mobile phones. These Motorola products are expected to ship later this year.
Other companies endorsing Verisign's initiative include RSA Security, BellSouth, Sonera SmartTrust, and Research In Motion. These companies will leverage the technologies in their own products and services.
Technologies planned by VeriSign include:
-- Micro-client Wireless Personal Trust Agent code for embedding in handheld devices. The code is designed to enable seamless use of private keys, digital certificates, and digital signatures and is available to device manufacturers now.
-- Short-lived wireless server certificates -- "mini-digitial certificates," according to officials -- that are optimized for authentication of wireless devices and services. These are to be available this summer.
-- A gateway-assisted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) trust model to enable network service providers to substitute wireless certificates for SSL certificates. This is due this spring.
-- A gateway-assisted public key infrastructure roaming model enabling small-footprint devices to digitally sign transactions. This also is due to ship this summer.
Services planned by VeriSign include:
-- Subscriber Trust Services, for secure messaging and transactions using wireless handheld devices. These services are available now.
-- Server/Gateway Trust Services, which are designed to allow electronic-businesses operating wireless servers and gateways to deliver secure applications. These services also are available now.
-- Developer Trust Services, for digitally protecting downloadable content. These are due this spring.
-- Enterprise Trust Services, for wireless, business-to-business and business-to-consumer applications such as banking, brokerage, health care, and messaging. These services are available now.
-- Service provider platforms, for network operators and application service providers to offer VeriSign wireless trust services. These are due this summer as well.
Transaction services to be offered include Wireless Validation Services, for real-time certificate validation, and Wireless Payment Services, to enable wireless payment applications. Both of these services are due by this summer.
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