W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-xml-sig-ws@w3.org > April 1999

Re: Fw: XML versus ASN.1/DER blob

From: Alan Kotok <kotok@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 14:42:20 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.19990421143253.00b36f00@localhost>
To: "John Boyer" <jboyer@uwi.com>
Cc: "Dsig group" <w3c-xml-sig-ws@w3.org>
At 01:24 PM 4/21/99 , John Boyer wrote:
>The pen people's biometric tokens are encrypted blobs containing biometric
>measures of the act of signing as well as a sha-1 or md5 hash of the
>document being signed.  The biometrics identify the signer, the act of
>signing implies authorization (same as paper), the hash authenticates the
>document content, and the encryption binds the two together.  The pen people
>claim that this signing technology offers an electronic solution that is at
>least as secure or substantially more secure than the paper signatures that
>we currently accept.

There seems to be general agreement that whatever we develop should be able
to accomodate multiple signature technologies.  There also seems to be
agreement that it is not the work of this group to judge the strength or
merit of any particular technology.

But it does seem necessary to understand the requirements posed by known
signature technologies on the specifications we develop.  Therefore, I
would assume we need to understand how signing using biometrics relates to
the process we are more familiar with: that of encrypting the hash of a
signature block using the private key of a public keypair.

Maybe I'm a bit dense, but I can't figure out the explanation provided
above.  What "encryption" binds the identifying information unique to the
signer and the description of what is being signed?  Could you take us
through that operation in more detail?


Alan Kotok, Associate Chairman                          mailto:kotok@w3.org
World Wide Web Consortium                                 http://www.w3.org
MIT Laboratory for Computer Science,  545 Technology Square,  Room NE43-409
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA     Voice: +1-617-258-5728    Fax: +1-617-258-5999
Received on Wednesday, 21 April 1999 14:42:27 UTC

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