Visually Sealed and Digitally Signed Documents

Liu, V., Caelli, W.J., Foo, E. and Russell, S.

    One of the primary flaws with current digital signature technology is that a digital signature does not 'feel' or resemble a traditional seal or personal signature to the human observer; lacking a sense of visualisation and changing each time it is applied. This paper reviews the historical value of seals in Eastern and Western cultures to provide a basis to enhance global acceptability of existing digital signatures. The functionality of traditional seals is investigated in broad terms, encompassing newly established applications to accommodate digital signature technology, and traditional seal principles. Traditional seal certificates are employed to prevent the fraudulent use of the seal and serve to bind a particular identity with a particular seal in some Eastern countries, for instance, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. This usage is analogous to the purpose of current digital certificates. This proposal develops the concept of integrating a seal certificate into an overall digital certificate. Verification of a document by visualisation is done by affixing a visual seal within a document and then digitally signing the document. Incorporating the seal images into digital certificates ensures the integrity of the seal images applied to digital signatures. This paper defines new private extensions to the X.509 v3 certificate structure and explains the new digital signing and verifying process. The purpose of this proposed solution is to fulfil the cultural gap between traditional seals and digital signatures through the integration of culturally relevant built-in features for increasing the acceptability of digital signatures in global e-commerce, while maintaining the security features of current digital signature schemes.
Cite as: Liu, V., Caelli, W.J., Foo, E. and Russell, S. (2004). Visually Sealed and Digitally Signed Documents. In Proc. Twenty-Seventh Australasian Computer Science Conference (ACSC2004), Dunedin, New Zealand. CRPIT, 26. Estivill-Castro, V., Ed. ACS. 287-294.
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