Defense makes digital validation apps available

Defense makes digital validation apps available

The Defense Department has rolled out two applications to validate the authenticity of digital signatures for its Common Access Card program.

DOD's Public-Key Infrastructure Program Management Office has chosen Tumbleweed Valicert Validation Authority from Tumbleweed Communications Corp. of Redwood City, Calif., and Real Time Credential Validation Authority from CoreStreet Ltd. of Cambridge, Mass.

Defense will make both apps available globally to millions of Defense users who use their CACs to send e-mail, digitally sign documents and access secure systems.

DOD searched for products to speed up the validation process, which currently requires users to download more than 30M of data and takes longer than an hour. The PKI office reviewed products from nine vendors before settling on the Tumbleweed and CoreStreet apps.

CoreStreet cuts the validation time to 65 milliseconds and requires the download of a file no larger than a few hundred bytes, according to DOD officials.

It's a good thing the new apps will be available. The slow downloads 'cost us tremendously in productivity and drove people to circumvent the security built into our systems,' said Gil Nolte, director of the PKI office.

The new process is 'so quick that it is transparent to the user, and we're now able to ensure the security and validity of digitally signed communications,' he said.

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