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Security Dictionary
Can't tell 'smtp' from 'snmp'? Find the precise meaning of these and hundreds of other security-related terms in our convenient and up-to-date Security Dictionary.
attribute certificate
(I) A digital certificate that binds a set of descriptive data items, other than a public key, either directly to a subject name or to the identifier of another certificate that is a public-key certificate. [X509]

(O) "A set of attributes of a user together with some other information, rendered unforgeable by the digital signature created using the private key of the CA which issued it." [X509]

(O) "A data structure that includes some attribute values and identification information about the owner of the attribute certificate, all digitally signed by an Attribute Authority. This authority's signature serves as the guarantee of the binding between the attributes and their owner." [FPDAM]

(C) A public-key certificate binds a subject name to a public key value, along with information needed to perform certain cryptographic functions. Other attributes of a subject, such as a security clearance, may be certified in a separate kind of digital certificate, called an attribute certificate. A subject may have multiple attribute certificates associated with its name or with each of its public-key certificates.

(C) An attribute certificate might be issued to a subject in the following situations: - Different lifetimes: When the lifetime of an attribute binding is shorter than that of the related public-key certificate, or when it is desirable not to need to revoke a subject's public key just to revoke an attribute. - Different authorities: When the authority responsible for the attributes is different than the one that issues the public-key certificate for the subject. (There is no requirement that an attribute certificate be issued by the same CA that issued the associated public-key certificate.)

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