Microsoft and VeriSign Announce Availability of Digital IDs For Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Users

Microsoft PressPass – Microsoft and VeriSign Announce Availability of Digital IDs For Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 Users

REDMOND, Wash. —
, Aug. 13, 1996 —
Microsoft Corp. and VeriSign Inc. today announced the availability of client authentication technology for Microsoft® Internet Explorer 3.0 users. Using VeriSign Digital IDs SM in conjunction with the client authentication technology that ships with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3.0, users can now uniquely identify themselves to Web servers and securely access information over the Internet. With client authentication technology, users will be able to take advantage of a higher level of security in communicating online to gain access to private or paid-for information. Starting today, users can register for and receive their Class 1 or Class 2 Digital IDs from VeriSign. VeriSign Class 1 Digital IDs are free (a $6 value) for Microsoft Internet Explorer users.

“With its support for VeriSign Digital IDs, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 provides Internet users with a powerful client authentication solution,”
said Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign.
“We’re excited to work with Microsoft in a variety of security efforts bringing a new level of trust to the Internet.”

Digital IDs use today’s powerful, state-of-the-art encryption to provide a trusted means of authenticating the identity of each party in an electronic transaction. VeriSign’s Digital IDs are used much like conventional forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport, to provide irrefutable evidence of the owner’s identity and, in some cases, authority in a given transaction. A Digital ID is issued by VeriSign, the trusted third party that performs the appropriate background checks on an individual or entity according to the Digital ID’s level of assurance. Once issued, the Digital ID can be used within any enabled application, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. VeriSign is the first certifying authority to issue Digital IDs or personal certificates for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0.

“This is an important step in establishing the public key infrastructure that is so necessary for securing communications and commerce transactions on the Internet,”
said Hank Vigil, general manager of the electronic commerce group at Microsoft.
“VeriSign’s leading Digital ID products and services and Microsoft’s state-of-the-art authentication technology ensure Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 users the security they need to communicate over the Internet.”

Industry Standard-Based Authentication Technology

Microsoft’s client authentication for Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 and VeriSign’s Digital IDs support Internet standards, including the X.509 certificate format and PKCS #7 signature blocks. Client authentication as implemented by Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 is interoperable with popular Web servers that support secure sockets layer (SSL) 3.0 client authentication.

Microsoft is working to extend the complete set of technology components necessary for webmasters to incorporate client authentication in their Web applications. This includes extending Windows NT® Server operating system support for challenge and response and the SSL 2.0 protocol used by Microsoft Internet Information Server to also include support for client authentication through the SSL 3.0 protocol. This builds on existing Windows NT Server security and will allow administrators to integrate public key certificates with their existing security infrastructure. Through CryptoAPI 2.0, webmasters will be able to access customization services for certificate-based authentication services and certificate management as well as access high-level APIs for authentication, signing, and encryption and decryption services. CryptoAPI 2.0 is scheduled to be available in beta in the third quarter of 1996.

Microsoft Internet Security Framework

Support for client authentication is part of the Microsoft Internet Security Framework (MISF), a comprehensive set of cross-platform, interoperable security technologies for electronic commerce and online communications that support Internet security standards. MISF technologies implemented to date are Authenticode technology, CryptoAPI 1.0, support for client authentication as well as support for SSL and private communications technology (PCT) protocols. In the coming months, MISF is expected to deliver a certificate server, a
an implementation of the Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) protocol for credit-card transactions, and technology to allow the secure transfer of personal security information.

VeriSign Digital ID Center

The Digital ID Center, located at VeriSign’s secure operations facility in Mountain View, Calif., is capable of issuing millions of Digital IDs for Internet e-mail and Web browsing. Visitors can access VeriSign’s online Digital ID Center at ( to perform specific Digital ID functions, such as request a Digital ID, find another individual’s Digital ID, get their own Digital ID, or simply look through an online information desk. The desk contains information on the technology of Digital IDs and how to use them, a repository of legal practices and policies, and a list of revoked certificates.


Support for client authentication is currently available in Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0. Users can register for and receive a free Class 1 Digital ID (a $6 value), valid for six months, or a Class 2 Digital ID, which has a higher level of assurance and trust, for an annual fee of $12. Individuals can obtain their Digital ID from the VeriSign Digital ID Center at ( .
For more information on client authentication and the Microsoft
Internet Security Framework, visit <a href=”/intdev/security/”><b></b>

VeriSign Inc., the only company focused 100 percent on digital authentication products and services, provides its customers with the confidence necessary to conduct electronic commerce worldwide. VeriSign Digital IDs use today’s strongest cryptographic techniques to provide a trusted means of authenticating the identity of each party in an electronic transaction. They play a key role in ensuring the security for electronic transactions and communications. VeriSign has been first to market with server Digital IDs, client Digital IDs, S/MIME Digital IDs, SET payment certificates, and Digital IDs for software publishers and is widely recognized as the de facto standard for Internet trust.

VeriSign was founded as a spin-off of RSA Data Security in April 1995. The company is working with industry leaders such as Microsoft, Netscape, America Online and Visa to open the digital marketplace to all consumers. For more information, contact VeriSign at (415) 961-7500, or visit its Web site at ( .

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

VeriSign is a service mark and trademark and Digital ID is a service mark of VeriSign Inc.

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