March 21, 1997 2:30 PM ET
Xcert Software unveils first cross-authentication package
Sentry CA allows users to maintain one digital certificate across many sites through use of secure LDAP

By Jim Rapoza

  Xcert Software Inc. has demonstrated the first instance of cross authentication between two different certificate authorities, making it possible for secure Web sites and intranets to communicate with each other and for users to maintain one digital certificate for multiple sites.

This cross authentication is made possible by Xcert Sentry CA 1.1's use of an LDAP directory that has been secured using Secure Sockets Layer. Sentry CA 1.1, which will ship this week, must be installed at both CA sites.

According to Xcert officials, this is the first implementation of secure LDAP, but they expect it to become a standard in most CA products for performing cross authentication..

PC Week Labs tested the cross authentication capabilities of Xcert's Sentry CA by requesting and obtaining a digital certificate from the Xcert Web site. We were able to use this same certificate to gain access to another Web site managed by a different certificate authority (in this test, the site of C2 Net Inc., the makers of the Stronghold Web server).

The cross-authentication demo can be found at

Xcert, of Vancouver, British Columbia, can be reached at (604) 640-6210.

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