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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.
registration authority (RA)
(I) An optional PKI entity (separate from the CAs) that does not sign either digital certificates or CRLs but has responsibility for recording or verifying some or all of the information (particularly the identities of subjects) needed by a CA to issue certificates and CRLs and to perform other certificate management functions. (See: organizational registration authority, registration.)

(C) Sometimes, a CA may perform all certificate management functions for all end users for which the CA signs certificates. Other times, such as in a large or geographically dispersed community, it may be necessary or desirable to offload secondary CA functions and delegate them to an assistant, while the CA retains the primary functions (signing certificates and CRLs). The tasks that are delegated to an RA by a CA may include personal authentication, name assignment, token distribution, revocation reporting, key generation, and archiving. An RA is an optional PKI component, separate from the CA, that is assigned secondary functions. The duties assigned to RAs vary from case to case but may include the following: - Verifying a subject's identity, i.e., performing personal authentication functions. - Assigning a name to a subject. (See: distinguished name.) - Verifying that a subject is entitled to have the attributes requested for a certificate. - Verifying that a subject possesses the private key that matches the public key requested for a certificate. - Performing functions beyond mere registration, such as generating key pairs, distributing tokens, and handling revocation reports. (Such functions may be assigned to a PKI element that is separate from both the CA and the RA.)

(I) PKIX usage: An optional PKI component, separate from the CA(s). The functions that the RA performs will vary from case to case but may include identity authentication and name assignment, key generation and archiving of key pairs, token distribution, and revocation reporting. [R2510]

(O) SET usage: "An independent third-party organization that processes payment card applications for multiple payment card brands and forwards applications to the appropriate financial institutions." [SET2]

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