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Time-Stamp Service for the National Information Network


Organization: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Summary: A system and method for time-stamping and signing a digital document by an authenticating party and returning the signed, stamped document to the originator or his designated recipient. Messages may be received by a first "public" machine over a network, by fax, or through input mediums such as diskettes. The clock of the first machine is synchronized with Universal Coordinated Time (UCT) and can be checked for accuracy by anyone on the network. A second "private" machine, not connected to any network, receives the time-stamped message, applies a hashing procedure, and provides a signature using a private key. The signed hashed time-stamped message is then returned. A verify procedure is made widely available to check the genuineness of a document by rehashing the document and applying a public key. The result should match the signed, time-stamped message returned by the authenticating party.

Opportunity: Available for exclusive or nonexclusive commercialization licensing. Collaborative research opportunities are also available.

Contact: Jack Pevenstein, NIST Technology Partnership Office

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