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A straightforward method for creating and verifying digital signatures in HTML forms

R. Palacios, D. de la Fuente

Dr Dobbs Journal Nº. 417, pp. 1 - 36


Web-based forms, created in HTML language, are widely used to submit data to Internet servers. However the process of submitting forms using http protocol is anonymous. In this article, two pieces of code are provided to add digital signature to standard html forms in a simple way. The first code is a JavaScript function (signForm) that can be included into any HTML page containing a form. The function must be called upon submission so it can generate a digital signature that will be sent over the Internet along with the form data. The second piece of code is a PHP function (Validation) to be included in the program that usually checks form data and stores the values in a database. The presented function will automatically verify the digital signature by concatenating form values in the same way as it was done in the Javascript function, and finally calling openssl for PKCS7 digital signature verification. In addition, some helpful PHP functions are also included to make it easy, for a programmer not very familiar with cryptography, to extract internal data from the digital certificate. By using the provided functions, any current process can easily incorporate digital signature just by adding a piece of JavaScript code to the existing forms and another piece of code to the server-side PHP program in charge of processing uploaded data.

Keywords: http://www.drdobbs.com/web-development/212701413

Published on paper: 2009.

Published on-line: January 2009.

R. Palacios, D. de la Fuente, A straightforward method for creating and verifying digital signatures in HTML forms. Dr Dobbs Journal. Nº. 417, pp. 1 - 36, 2009. [Online: January 2009]

    Research topics:
  • Smart industry: security and asset control

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