9 September 1998
Source: http://www.standards.com.au/news%2Dflash/1998/19980904/19980904.htm
Thanks to TF.

News - September 1998

Standards Australia fast-tracks PKAF Standards for online business

Standards Australia has fast-tracked work on Standards critical to the implementation of a Public Key Authentication Framework (PKAF) for secure electronic commerce.

The organization, Australia's peak Standards body, has released for public comment drafts of the first two PKAF-related Standards being proposed. Comment closes 30 September.

They are believed to be the first proposed Standards of their kind in the world to be developed by a national Standards body.

One, DR 98410, proposes a profile for X.509 digital certificate and Certificate Revocation Lists required for the validation and authentication of users engaged in online business transactions.

The other, DR 98411, proposes a set of hash, digital signature, encryption and key-exchange algorithms and the format for the keys these algorithms use in public/private key authentication processes.

Bala Balakrishnan, Projects Manager with Standards Australia's Communications Technologies Group, said another two Standards relating to the accreditation of Certification Authorities which issue digital certificates, and the identification and authentication of parties holding digital certificates, will also be released shortly as drafts for public comment.

The documents underpin Standards Australia's PKAF strategy for the operation of a national infrastructure supporting digital signatures, which will be used to verify the integrity of the transactions and guarantee authenticity of the parties engaged in online electronic business.

The strategy is central to the Project Gatekeeper framework for public key authentication, which was launched by the Federal Government in May.

The Project Gatekeeper strategy sets out a framework for using public key technology for secure electronic transactions between Commonwealth agencies and users.

It will be critical for Federal Government departments involved in online business, as well as for companies conducting online business transactions with the government.

Standards Australia is playing a pivotal role in the implementation of the 'Gatekeeper' strategy as Secretariat to the Government Public Key Authority (GPKA).

Neil Jayasekera, Standards Australia's Projects Manager for the GPKA Secretariat, said this role included the development and implementation of an accreditation scheme for Certification Authorities.

Charles Moore, online security expert and Chairman of the committee responsible for the PKAF Standards, said once published as Standards, these documents would prove critical in supporting not only government online business, but also wider commercial operations.

"They will be applied across a whole range of electronic solutions and procedures to support national PKAF digital signature requirements," Mr Moore said.

"And because they will be as harmonized as possible with all other international activities, they will be used by manufacturers and suppliers of products in Australian and international markets."

Copies of the drafts are available from Standards Australia offices in all State capitals or can be ordered online or downloaded at Standards Australia's Web site www.standards.com.au.