CA/Browser Forum Releases Code Signing Baseline Requirements Public Comment Draft

In 2013, the CA/Browser Forum voted to create a Code Signing Working Group whose sole purpose was to come up with a set of Baseline Requirements for the issuance of Code Signing Certificates. The result of that effort is the:

Baseline Requirements for Code Signing Certificates, Public Comment Draft (doc)

Baseline Requirements for Code Signing Certificates, Public Comment Draft (pdf)

Once approved by the CA/B Forum and subsequent audit standards are created, all Certificate Authorities will be obligated to follow these Requirements when issuing and managing code signing certificates.

The goals of this project and resulting document are as follows:

  1. Create uniform identification and vetting procedures that all Certificate Authorities must follow when issuing code signing certificates
  2. Identify ways to stop the theft of private keys and prevent key compromise by increasing the required levels of key protection
  3. Identify origins of malware (geographic and otherwise) and implement procedures to reduce the incidence of signed malware
  4. Document standards for code signing “services” which store private code-signing keys in cloud-based service offerings

Although it may seem that the biggest beneficiaries of these guidelines will be large operating system vendors that utilize code signing certificates, the public as a whole will benefit from a reduced incidence of malware on their systems and devices. We urge users, the software development industry, and operating system platforms to carefully review this document and provide comments to the CA/B Forum by October 30, 2014. The Working Group will review every comment for incorporation into the final draft.  Comments should be sent to
The Code Signing Working Group

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