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What is timestamp.dll?


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Windows Process Description:

The file timestamp.dll is associated with the digital signature process that is involved with the file and driver verification method of the Microsoft Windows Operating System platform. Digital signatures are asymmetric cryptography used to secure the authenticity of a file by the implementation of two algorithms: public and private keys. Timestamps, which are provided by the module timestamp.dll, are included in the digital signature and form part of the file's electronic signature, which carry legal significance in the United States and the European Union.

The timestamp.dll module is utilized in the CryptoAPI tool SignTool, which is launched by the executable file signtool.exe, provides a command line interface to allow digital signing of files including the verification of signatures and time stamps included in the file. There are a number of options attributed with the SignTool through component files like the module timestamp.dll. This component file verifies a driver package or driver file by using the tool syntax SignTool [Command] [Options] [Driver FileName]. Digital Signatures of every code that is loaded into the kernel is required starting with the Microsoft Windows Vista x64 Operating System environment.

Due to the changing policies adopted by Microsoft, some confusion has arisen over the use of these tools. Adding to the confusion is the fact that not all developers utilize the file timestamp.dll and the SignTool to digitally sign their drivers. This can be seen during the driver installation process wherein the Microsoft Windows Operating System displays a message box alerting the user that the driver being installed is not digitally signed and requires user intervention to proceed with the installation process.

Prerequisites for the digital signing process involving the file timestamp.dll involves securing a code-signing certificate usually available from Verisign or other Microsoft-approved CA for kernel signing that will import the private key into the computer system's registry. A cross-certificate is also required prior to the loading to the kernel to verify the signed code. Another tool needed from the Windows Driver Kit that is associated with the file timestamp.dll aside from the signtool.exe is the makecat.exe file.

The module timestamp.dll is also involved in the Windows Catalog and Windows Logo Program Submission process, which requires a Verisign ID and Microsoft's Authenticode Tools. This process allows the developer to add a description of the file he is signing and the inclusion of a timestamp through the functionality provided by the timestamp.dll file by invoking the feature through the Time Stamp Service URL Information created during the signing process will be included in the .INF and .CAT files associated with the digitally signed driver.

Bin/ timestamp.dll

Author: Microsoft Corporation

Author URL:

Part Of: Microsoft Windows Signing Tool

Memory Usage: Low

Associated Applications: SignTool, Microsoft Windows Operating System

Background DLL: Yes

Uses Network: No

Hardware Related: Yes

Common Path: C:\ Program Files\ Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\ SDK\ v1.1\

DLL Version: 6.0.6000.16386, 6.0.6000.16384

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