Includes the owner’s public key and is signed by a trusted Certification Authority, or CA. The Certificate Authority is a body issuing digital certificates to subscribers, a trusted “third party” authority certifying the identity of the subscriber.
Certificate Authorities can delegate signing authority to other organizations, which, in turn, can issue certificates and/or delegate signing authority as well. Each of these lower-level Certificate Authorities includes a Certificate of the hierarchically higher Authority, thus providing proof that they have legitimate signing authority. The Certificate itself contains information about the hierarchical structure of the CAs, thereby forming a Chained Certificate.
See Also: Identity Theft and Masquerading; Trust.
Baum, Michael S. and Ford, Warwick, Public Key Infrastructure Interoperation, 38 Jurimetrics J. 359–384 (1998); Graham, R. Hacking Lexicon. [Online, 2001.] Robert Graham Website. http://www.linuxsecurity.com/resource_files/documentation/ hacking-dict.html.