Dublin, Ireland – August 1st 2001 – New legislation passed by the European Union now makes digital signatures officially legal in the EU, giving them equal status with hand-written signatures. Hush Communications, a leading provider of managed security services and key serving encryption technology, foreseeing such a development, already offers digital signatures as a standard feature of its secure communications solutions and, indeed, has just marked the successful launch of HushMail version 2.
The legislation on digital signatures has been passed in an effort to alleviate general security concerns among Internet users. Digital signatures are intended to be used for the signing of contracts over the Internet and for online transactions.
A digital signature is a digital code attached to an electronically transmitted message that uniquely identifies the sender. Using digital signatures, e-mail generatorsl can electronically sign their message so the recipient can authenticate it as being sent by the person it purports to come from. The digital signature also makes the message tamper-proof to prevent it from being altered in transit. Digital signatures are especially important for electronic commerce, and are a key component of most authentication schemes.
The criteria developed by the EU Commission and the creation of accommodating solutions by Hush will drive the adoption of digital signatures and increase confidence among those doing business online. Hush meets the EU requirements by offering digital signatures as part of its managed services solutions, in particular its industry-leading outsourced Web-based email, its desktop solution HushMail Professional, and its Software Developer Kit (SDK).
“The new digital signature directive will draw consumers who had been frustrated or ambivalent about doing business on the Internet, giving e-commerce new respect,” explains Jon Matonis, President and CEO of Hush Communications. “This is an important first step in moving all aspects of business online and Hush is fully prepared to meet the expected demands throughout the European Union and beyond.”
The EU Commissioner responsible for the Information Society, Erkki Liikanen, said: “Doing business electronically is increasing rapidly both for companies and for consumers. But without security and trust, there won’t be a notable shift towards commercial and financial transactions on the Internet.”
Among Hush’s European clients already benefiting from the digital signing feature include DocCheck Medical Services (Germany), Security.nl (the Netherlands), Cyber-Rights.org, and Napo (United Kingdom), and Trade Vertex, (Poland).
The technology that powers Hush’s security solutions, the Hush Encryption EngineTM, encrypts data so only the sender and receiver can read the communication. Hush’s core technology protects electronic communications with seamless and transparent 1,024-bit encryption, resulting in unrivalled ease-of-use coupled with an exceptionally high level of security.
Attributes of Hush Digital Signatures
Traditional problems associated with digital signatures lie in the cost of implementation, with the price of the required software proving excessive and the technologies proving too complex for its end users. For there to be wide-scale uptake, businesses have to offer cost effective solutions that are easy to use, as well as educate the public at large as to their benefits.
Ease of Use: To attach a digital signature to an email or document, the sender simply clicks on a “Sign Message” box in the email composition window. A mathematical signature is then automatically created for the message. To verify messages, recipients click the “Verify” button at the top of the e-mail window, causing Hush to perform a mathematical operation that proves with mathematical certainty that the message was actually sent from the address shown and has not been altered in transit. The verification feature is also available to Hush users sending plain text messages to non-Hush account users.
Transparent Key Management: Hush’s technology and products are unique in the provision of transparent key management. With Hush, the electronic keys necessary to encrypt and decrypt messages, documents, or business transactions are exchanged automatically. The backbone of the Hush system is the Hush Key Server Network. It is unique in that it stores both the end-user’s private key and public key. No other key management technology is as transparent and seamless to the end-user.
As a member of the OpenPGP alliance (www.openpgp.org), Hush products offer OpenPGP compliance. Additionally, Hush is offering the chance to review recently released products. The features and benefits of digital signatures, among other Hush solutions, are available for review at (www.hush.com/about_hush/media_center/review_program.shtml)
About Hush Communications
Hush Communications is the leading global provider of managed security solutions and encryption key-serving technology. It was awarded the full five stars for secure messaging product by Secure Computing Magazine, the Best Internet Security Freeware Award from Firewallguide.com and voted best Webmail service for travelers’ mails by the Net Internet magazine. Hush distributes its solutions to the financial, medical and legal markets, and to general portals and enterprises. These solutions include encryption products and management services in the secure communications industry. The company’s SDK (Software Development Kit) allows other Web-based infrastructure companies and application providers to design product and service offerings that utilize the Hush Key Server Network. Hush has strategic alliances with NetNation Communications (www.netnation.com)(Nasdaq:NNCI), Security Portal (www.securityportal.com) and Worldport Communications (www.wrdp.com)(WRDP.OB). Its investors include Offroad Capital Corporation (www.offroadcapital.com).
Hush Communications Corporation is incorporated in the U.S. with operating subsidiaries in Dublin, Ireland, Salt Lake City, Utah, Vancouver, Canada and Anguilla, BWI. Hush is the provider of HushMail.Com and HushMail Private Label, the worldwide standards in secure messaging. For more information, visit the corporate site at www.hush.com.
Note to editors: Hush product names and logos are trademarks of Hush Communications Corporation. All rights reserved.