Code Signing Certificates

Increase download rates by
by eliminating security warnings.

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What is a Code Signing Certificate?

A Code Signing Certificate is a digital certificate that contains information that fully identifies an entity and is issued by a Certificate Authority such as GlobalSign.  The Digital Certificate binds the identity of an organization to a public key that is mathematically related to a private key pair. The use of private and public key systems is called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The developer signs code with its private key and the end user uses the developer’s public key to verify the developers identity. Learn more about Code Signing and the differences between signed and unsigned code.

Code Signing For Software Vendors and Organizations

GlobalSign Code Signing Certificates are used by developers on all platforms to digitally sign the applications and software they distribute over the Internet. Code Signing essentially provides the same assurance as a shrink wrapped CD as the signed code includes the  name of the publisher and assurance that the code hasn't been tampered with since being published. Anyone downloading software off of the internet can make a decision whether or not to trust the software.

Code Signing Certificates use a unique cryptographic hash to bind the identity of the publisher to the software. Security warnings that appear with unsigned code are replaced with notifications containing the software publisher's information, preventing users from abandoning the install and increasing download rates. Signing code adds an essential layer of trust to the installation process.

Code Signing proves the signed software is legitimate, comes from a known software vendor, and that the code has not been tampered with since being published. Code Signing prevents users abandoning the installation of an application due to security warning messages, malicious alternation of legitimate code, and identity theft of vendor author.

Standard Code Signing Certificates Extended Validation (EV) Code Signing Certificates
Certificate Features
Information displayed in Certificate Organization Name Organization Name
Organization address
Type of Organization
Removes "unknown publisher" security warnings icon-checkmark.png icon-checkmark.png
Signature does not expire when Time Stamping is applied Time stamping available and recommend Time stamping available and recommend
Sign an unlimited number of applications icon-checkmark.png icon-checkmark.png
Compatible with major platforms (Authenticode, Office VBA, Java, Adobe AIR, Mac OS, Mozilla) icon-checkmark.png icon-checkmark.png
Key storage options - Cryptographic USB token (included)^
- HSM*
- Azure Key Vault
- Cryptographic USB token (included)^
- HSM*
- Azure Key Vault
Immediate reputation with Microsoft SmartScreen No icon-checkmark.png
1 year - -
2 year - -
3 year - -
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*GlobalSign allows standard and EV Code Signing Certificates to be installed on customer HSMs or in Azure Key Vault. Contact us for more information about these deployment options.
^USB token not included in HSM or Key Vault deployments.

Standard vs. EV Code Signing Certificates

EV Code Signing certificates build on the existing benefits of standard Code Signing certificates to offer stronger levels of assurance that the identity of the publisher is correct and has been verified.

  • Strict vetting process assures end users that the identity of the publisher has been verified
  • Immediate reputation with Microsoft SmartScreen Filter removes scary warning messages to end users that the application might be malicious

Learn more about EV Code Signing Certificates

Multiple Platform Support

GlobalSign Code Signing Certificates support multiple platforms using the same certificate.

MS Authenticode

ms-authenticode.pngMicrosoft Authenticode

Digitally sign Windows 32 and 64 bit files including .exe, .cab, .dll, .ocx, .msi, .xpi, and .xap, ActiveX controls, and kernel software.

Establish instant reputation with Microsoft SmartScreen by signing your applications with an EV Code Signing Certificate.

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Adobe Air

adobe-air.pngAdobe AIR usage

Digitally sign Adobe AIR applications. Adobe requires all AIR applications to be digitally signed in order to run successfully.

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apple.pngApple usage

Digitally sign applications, plug-ins and content for Mac OS desktops.

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firefox.pngMozilla & Netscape Objects

Digitally sign Mozilla and legacy Netscape Object files.

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MS Office

ms-authenticode.pngMS Office & VBA

Digitally sign macros and Visual Basic Applications (VBA). Compatible with Microsoft Office and other applications using VBA.

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java.pngJava usage

Digitally sign .jar files and Java applications for desktop and mobile devices. Recognized by Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

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