E-Governance project is gearing up in India and it is necessary to have Digital Signature. Creating trust in electronic environment involves assuring the transacting parties about the integrity and confidentiality of the content of documents along with authentication of the sending and receiving parties in a manner that ensures that both the parties cannot repudiate the transaction. The paper based concepts of identification, declaration and proof are carried through the use of digital signatures in electronic environment.
Digital signatures, a form of electronic signatures, are created and verified using Public Key Cryptography that is based on the concept of a key pair generated by a mathematical algorithm, the public and private keys. The private key used to digitally sign a document is securely held by the owner, while the public key is made known to everyone for verifying the digital signature. Knowing the public key, one cannot compute the private key belonging to its owner.
An electronic document can be described as any instrument that is created or stored on a computer. These include electronic mail (e-mail), letters, memos, contracts and images A digital signature is a data item, which accompanies a electronic document, and which can be used to ascertain both the originator of the message and the fact that the message has not been modified since it left the originator. It is a form of authentication method which is used to authenticate the identity of the sender by convincing the recipient of a document that the person to whom the signature belongs actually signed it.