Digital ID

Exchange 2003 & Outlook 2003.
To encrypt email message Digital ID is required.
How to get digital ID from Exchange server instead from external 
certification authority? 

cmchong20 (124)
7/20/2005 9:30:42 AM
exchange.admin 57650 articles. 2 followers. Follow

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"Emyeu" <> wrote:

>Exchange 2003 & Outlook 2003.
>To encrypt email message Digital ID is required.
>How to get digital ID from Exchange server instead from external 
>certification authority? 

Windows 2003 can be used as a CA. But that's a Windows Server
question, not an Exchange problem. :)

PKI isn't easy if you need more tha just server certs.

Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at
Don't send mail to this address
richnews (7316)
7/21/2005 12:59:35 AM
Emyeu wrote:
> Exchange 2003 & Outlook 2003.
> To encrypt email message Digital ID is required.
> How to get digital ID from Exchange server instead from external
> certification authority?

the technoloyg is asymmetric key cryptography ... what one key encodes,
the other key decodes (as opposed to symmetric key where the same key
both encrypts and decrypts).

there is a business process called public key ... where one of the
key-pair is identified as "public" and made widely available. The other
of the key-pair is identified as "private" and kept confidential and
never divulged.

there is a business process called digital signature ... where the
originator calculates the hash of a message, encodes it with the
private key producinng a digital signature, and transmits both the
message and the digital signature. the recipient recalculates the hash
on the message, decodes the digital signature with the public key
(producing the original hash) and compares the two hashes. If they are
equal, then the recipient can assume that

1) the contents haven't changed since the original digital signature

2) "something you have" authentication, i.e. the originator has access
to and use of the corresponding private key.

PGP-type implementations involve the senders and receviers having a
trusted repositories of public keys. The senders can use their private
key to digital sign messages and transmit them to the recipients. The
recipients can authenticate the sender by verifying the digital
signature with the corresponding public key. Senders can also use
on-file public key for the recipient to encode the message being sent
(so only the addressed recipient can decrypt the message with the
specific private key). Some actual message encryption implementations
may be a two-step process where a random symmetric key is generate, the
message encrypted with the random symmetric key and the random
symmetric key then encoded with the recipient's public key. The
recipient then uses their private key to decode the random symmetric
key, and then uses the decoded random symmetric to decrypt the actual

In the SSL implementation used by browsers for encrypted communication,
digital certificates are introduced.

These are special messages containing the public key  of the server and
their domain name which is digital signed by certification authorities.
Users have their trusted repositories of public keys loaded with the
public keys of some number of certification authorities (in the case of
many browsers these certification authority public keys have been
preloaded as part of the browser creation). A Server has registered
their public key and domain name with some certification authority and
gotten back a digital certificate (signed by the certification

The client browser contacts the server with some data. The server
digital signs the data and returns the digital signature and their
domain name digital certificate.  The client browser inds the correct
public key in their local repository and verify the certification
authority's digital signature. If they certification authority's
digital signature verifies, then the client assumes that the content of
the digital certificate is correct. The client browser then checks the
domain name in the digital certificate against the domain name used in
the URL to contact the server (if they are the same, then the client
assumes that the server they think they are talking might actually be
the server they are talking to). The client browser can now use the
server's public key (also contained in digital certificate) to validate
the returned server's digital signature. If that validates, then the
client has high confidence that the server they think they are talking
to is probably the server they are talking to. The browser now
generates a random symmetric key and encocdes it with the server's
public key (taken form the digital certificate) and sends it to the
server. When the server decrodes the random symmetric key with their
private key ... then both the client and server have the same random
symmetric key and all futher communication between the two is encrypted
using that random symmetric key.

So the basic starting point is that the sender has to already have the
recipient's public key in some locally accessable place. In the normal
email scenario this tends to be a long term repository where the sender
may collect before hand the public keys of recipients that they wish to
securely communicate with. There are also a number of public-key server
implementations ... where senders can obtain recipient public keys in
real time.

In the SSL dynamic session scenarion ... the server's public key is
provided as part of the two-way session initiation (although, the
client browser still needs a trusted repository of public keys ... in
this case at least for some number of certification authorities ... so
that the dynamically obtained digital certificate containing the
server's public key can be verified).

In a number of implementations ... the term "digital IDs" is used
interchangeably with digital certificates ... and digital certificates
can represent one source of obtaining recipient's public key.

However, when encrypting messages ... the sender isn't encoding with
either their public or private keys ... they are encoding with the
recipient's public key. If the sender doesn't already have the
recipient's public key on file ... it is possible that the reicpient
has registered their public key with some public key repository server
.... and the sender can obtain the recipient's public key, in real-time,
from such a server.

lynn1982 (1)
7/22/2005 3:10:12 AM

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