Analysis of MS Office digital signatures

OData support
Dr. Buttyán Levente
Department of Networked Systems and Services

In our digitalized society the paper-based administration and communication is increasingly relegated to the background, therefore, to meet the requirements of the written form, or even to be used as a private document with full probative value electronic document, it must be provided with appropriate electronic signatures. Accordingly, the common office applications support digital signing of documents, but safety, standard operation, user-friendly usability and functionality, such as the configuration of the verification of the created signature are often fall behind significantly compared to dedicated applications.

Within the framework of my thesis, my task was the analysis of the properties of the functions related to the digital signatures of the Microsoft Office applications, and to design and implement solutions to eliminate the identified gaps. Technically, I tied together the Microsec ltd. e-Signature software and the MS Word application functions by creating a Microsoft Word add-in. So that the usage of the built-in MS signing process is more user-friendly, as well as with the e-Szigno command line and COM (Component Object Model) interface, the signature validity verification is more configurable, allowing a higher level of evaluation.

During the development of the add-in, I got acquainted with the structure behind the DOCX file extension, with the Microsoft VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office) add-in development options and with the foreign document signature verification developer functions of the e-Szigno software.


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