What are user certificates?
Please note: Due to changes in the DFN-PKI portal, we are constantly revising the instructions.
Public Key Certificates (as defined by X.509) can be used to verify the identity of the owner, and eventually other properties (e.g. email or organisation), of a public cryptographic key (refer to public key cryptography for more technical information).
Such cryptographic keys can be used to generate electronic signatures and/or to establish encrypted communication channels.
Electronic signatures can offer:
- authentication - linking the originator to the information
- integrity - allowing any changes to the information provided to be detected more easily
- non-repudiation - ensuring satisfaction (in a legal sense) about where the electronic signature has come from
The RWTH Registration Authority "RWTH RA" is part of the DFN-PKI Global (Public Key Infrastructure). We adhere to the DFN-PKI Global Certificate Policy.
The certificate applicant must be associated to the RWTH Aachen University.
The implemented certificate chain ends at a built-in Token "T-TeleSec GlobalRoot Class 2" of the "T-Systems Trust Center", anchored within standard browsers and email applications (that is, they belong to the SW installation), thus enabling the automated validation of the certificates issued.
Electronic signatures generated with cryptographic keys associated with the DFN-PKI Global user certificates (also known as S/MIME certificates) have the status "advanced electronic signature", according to the German Signature Act.