Home Source code 3072-bit key length: extra strength for code signing certificate

3072-bit key length: extra strength for code signing certificate


As data becomes a critical asset and data breach incidents increase, software becomes a critical factor for both. And to secure it, Code signing certificate is a core component used by software vendors.

Developers recently used certificates with a key length of 2048 bits. But, in 2021, a new policy was enacted requiring CAs to issue code-signing certificates with a key length of 3072 bits. The primary objective of defining such a standard was to enhance security. Additionally, there are many other aspects that a developer or security enthusiast should understand about such a change. So, let’s take a look.

What is the key length of 3072 bits?

Every time a software developer uses code signing certificatee, a pair of private and public keys come into action. The two keys work in correspondence and provide encryption and decryption functionality respectively. And it has different key length, such as 1024 bit, 2048 bit, 3072 bit and 4096 bit.

Bits represent the length of a key, helping publishers determine the security of the certificate: the more bits, the less likely there is to face a cyberattack. With a higher bit count, you can create additional unique alphanumeric combinations, preventing the hacker from violating and reading the source code.

Currently, cyberattacks have increased, due to which NIST sets the guidelines for the 3072-bit user encryption standard. In addition, from June 2021, it has become mandatory for each CA to issue a code signing certificate if its CSR is in a 3072-bit encrypted format. There are several reasons for imposing such regulations. So, let’s take a look at them.

Why CAs are moving from 2048-bit to 3072-bit key length

There are several reasons CAs issue code signing certificates with a key size of 3072 bits. And below is the main logic for such a change:

  • To comply with NIST and CA/Browser guidelines, CAs are beginning to issue code signing certificates with a key size of 3072 bits. It also helps the publisher comply with the latest standards and prevent lawsuits.
  • To enhance overall security. A protected 3072-bit file is more complex to break than a 1024-bit and 2048-bit file. Therefore, to provide state-of-the-art security solutions, CAs are seamlessly transitioning to the new NIST standard.
  • 3072-bit encryption is more advanced than the traditional 2048-bit mechanism, offering over 60,000 unique combinations to make code unreadable to attackers, hackers and crackers.
  • To maintain reputation and standing in the industry, CA/B Forum and certificate providers agree to offer solutions with the 3072-bit standard. They must ensure user security to improve user trust, productivity, and revenue.

The impact of the 3072-bit length on the code signing certificate

With the implementation of the standard to use 3072-bit encryption, users of the code signing certificate have seen a solidification of code security. Source code violations are reduced because hackers cannot convert source code to its original format and modify it.

Moreover, cracking a 3072-bit encrypted file requires significantly more computational resources than breaking the 2048-bit encryption. Therefore, it reduces the likelihood of being attacked and raped quickly. The attacker will have to plan his attack more precisely. However, you can disable any illegitimate long-term planning if you audit and update your security systems frequently.

Similarly, code signing certificates, SSL certificates are also offered with the same bit configuration. And, if you use both certificates, aligning with the latest security approaches, cyberattacking your software will be next to impossible.

Therefore, the certificate provider and the users analyze a positive change with the modification of the key length.

Can any software publisher purchase a code signing certificate with a 3072-bit key?

YES, any software vendor can benefit from the 3072-bit encryption standard. You just need to purchase and complete the validation process of the certificate providing such functionality. Whether you are a individual developer or a business, getting a certificate with such advanced functionality is a seamless task.

You can also check the current private key version of any certificate by following the steps below:

Step 1: Select a executable or software configuration file.

2nd step: Double-click the file to let the system run it and display a dialog box.

Step 3: Click on More details and you will be given the option to view the code signing certificate.

Step 4: A new dialog box will open, displaying the certificate details. It will have three tabs, General, Details and Certificate Path.

Step 5: Switch to the Details tab and scroll down to the Public key option. You will know whether the software is following the 2048-bit key or the new 3072-bit key standard.

To make your code tamper-proof and ensure its integrity, you need to buy it from a genuine vendor.

Best code signing certificate provider, offering solutions that comply with the latest standards

Confidentiality and data integrity is a major concern for any software publisher. And the code signing certificate is an essential element to maintain them. Therefore, you should always purchase a certificate from a reliable provider, such as SignMyCode.

Additionally, you must follow the checklist below before finalizing your supplier.

  • The seller must offer support services, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Free tools for generating CSR should be available on the supplier’s website.
  • The vendor should offer a wide variety of code signing certificates.
  • If the distributor is an authorized CA partner, like SignMyCode, it’s a good deal.
  • The vendor should provide plenty of guides and resources to help with certificate setup.


Implementing 3072-bit encryption for the code signing certificate is the right decision of the CA/B forum. With advances in technology and security, it’s essential to always have a solid foundation. The 3072-bit mechanism uses a more complicated mathematical algorithm than the 2048-bit. As a result, cyberattacks are avoided and publishers provide secure software.

Additionally, from mid-2021, all CAs will provide certificates with a key length of 3027 bits. And you should only use one certificate with the same configuration to appear in the top rankings.

The post office 3072-bit key length: extra strength for code signing certificate appeared first on SignMyCode – Blog.

*** This is a syndicated blog from the Security Bloggers Network of SignMyCode – Blog Written by SignMyCode – Blog. Read the original post at: https://signmycode.com/blog/what-is-3072-bit-key-length-in-code-signing