SOURCE: Thawte

November 04, 2009 13:08 ET

Thawte to Offer Free SSL and Code Signing Certificates to Open Source Community

Leading Certificate Authority and ApacheCon Platinum Sponsor Launches Zero-Cost Option for Securing Open Source Sites and Applications With Certificates Built on Trusted Roots

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - November 4, 2009) - ApacheCon US 2009 -- Thawte, a leading worldwide Certificate Authority (CA), today announced it will offer Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Code Signing Certificates to approved open source sites and developers at no cost.

Under a new program announced today coinciding with ApacheCon US 2009, Thawte will provide full-year certificates free of charge for approved open source projects and applications. The program, launching in January, builds on Thawte's 15-year history as a contributor to the open source community. This initiative is a continuation of Thawte's origins as the open source-centric trusted SSL provider, dating back to 1995 when it was founded by Mark Shuttleworth, whose contributions to Debian, Ubuntu and other open source projects have made him well known throughout the world.

Thawte® SSL Web Server Certificates protect and authenticate communications between Web servers and browsers. Sites that deploy a Thawte SSL Certificate can also display the Thawte® Trusted Site Seal, which communicates to every visitor that the identity of the site's owner has been independently authenticated.

Thawte Code Signing Certificates signal to end users that applications distributed over the Internet come from a trusted publisher. Code Signing Certificates serve as "virtual shrink wrap" for applications by applying a digital signature to code. A broken digital signature warns users that the application has been tampered with or modified, thereby protecting them from threats posed by hackers or malicious code.

Through this program, Thawte is offering the same industry-standard certificates that it provides to its commercial customers, including full encryption and authentication -- not modified or watered-down versions of certificates. Unlike the free SSL certificates from other CAs which only validate the ownership of the domain name within the certificate, Thawte's SSL Certificates offered in this program include full authentication of the organization requesting the certificate. Users of open source applications will receive all standard authentication and encryption benefits of Thawte SSL and code signing products.

"Open source developers and users need the same protections that commercial industry employs," said Jeff Barto, senior product marketing manager for Thawte. "However, the open source community relies on goodwill for its projects to succeed with contributors giving their time free-of-charge. It's in this spirit that Thawte has launched this program."

Barto continued, "Since Thawte's founding in 1995, we have committed to extending the open, collaborative nature of the Internet while enabling trusted relationships between Web sites, developers and their customers. Our effort to provide the open source community with zero-cost encryption, authentication and code signing stems directly from that focus."

Details of the program will be rolled out at the program's launch in January. Thawte will establish an approval method for site operators and developers, to be followed by the normal enrollment and issuance process, which incorporates Thawte's world-class certification procedures.

About Thawte

Thawte has been innovating and delivering trusted services for more than a decade. The company enables businesses and individuals to communicate and transact securely by verifying and authenticating their identities, thus allowing them to gain the trust and confidence of millions of users. Thawte's digital certificates are used globally to secure servers, encrypt files and communication, and validate the authenticity of applications and digital code. Through our dedication to maintaining your security we are helping to build a trusted digital future for everyone. For more information about Thawte, its products and trusted services, please visit www.thawte.com

Thawte is an independently operated brand of VeriSign, Inc., the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including Thawte SSL and Code Signing Certificates; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

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