PKI Tutorials - Herong's Tutorial Examples - v2.32, by Herong Yang
Archived: Viewing Digital ID Created by MS Word
This section provides a tutorial example on how to view the digital ID created by MS Word. It is really a self-signed certificate of an auto-generated private-public key pair.
After going through previous tutorials, I think this what MS Word really did for John:
1. When John clicks "Add a Digital Signature", MS Word tried to find a certificate with private key in the "Personal" certificate store on John's Windows system.
2. But John's "Personal" certificate store is empty. So MS Word decided to ask John to create a digital ID.
3. After John submitted the "Create a Digital ID" form, MS Word generated a private-public key pair and a self-signed certificate for John. The certificate with the key pair was inserted into the "Personal" certificate store.
4. MS Word then generated a digital signature for John's document with the private key.
To confirm #3, John can run "Start > Control Panel > Internet Options". If he goes to "Content" tab and clicks "Certificates" button, he can see his new self-signed certificate listed on the "Personal" tab.
If John double clicks the certificate, he can see that his certificate has an X icon on it with these messages on the "General" tab:
This CA root certificate is not trusted. To enable trust, install this certificate in the Trusted Root Certification Authorities store. Issued to: John Smith Issued by: John Smith You have a private key that corresponds to this certificate.
See the picture below:
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