Digital Signatures

See also Security

A method of authentication. The most commonly used form of authentication in the real world is one’s own signature, which can be verified by a handwriting expert. Digital Signatures are hashes that are unique to an individual message. Even a slight change (such as an extra space) to a message will alter a digital signature and they are verifyable to a specific Public-Key.


Of course, if someone were to get your signature password and possibly your computer, they could conceivably forge your signature. Because of this digital signatures cannot be used to verify real-world identities remotely because one cannot determine if the signature belongs to the person who claims ownership.

Other real-world methods of authentication include:

  • Retinal scan
  • Fingerprints (usually the thumb)
  • DNA sample

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