Can we forge a signature?

Is it easy to forge a signature? Fraud is a common problem in the digital world, therefore cyber security is much needed. As a result, users ask themselves if eSignatures are saf.e Let us clarify these questions in this article.

Why is it so hard to forge a signature?

Electronic signatures include reliable features to protect them against threats. Let’s review them:

  • Authentication: The signatory is perfectly traceable
  • Integrity: The electronic contract cannot be altered after being signed. If so, this modification will be detected and the whole process will not be considered valid
  • Non-repudiation: The signatory cannot deny the authorship of their own signature.

In theory, all electronic signatures are legally valid and will hold up in a court of law. However, additional legal evidence may be required from experts when dealing with important contracts, therefore we recommend using our advanced electronic signature to add the extra layer of security.

Our signature will secure documents against possible threats. In the next section we will will look at these threats.

eSign with biometric signature

Sign a document electronically legally binding

Cybercrime and counterfeiting

It is worth pointing out that in case we forge a signature there are very serious consequences for infringers.

Figures by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) show that the number of false documents is rising, with a growing trend from 2013 (6,382) to 2018, and 8,100 criminal activities on this type of offence during 2020.

On the other hand, a study on cyber-crime in Spain by the Ministry for Home Affairs revealed that cyber-crime is on the rise, from 4.6% in 2016 to 9.9% in 2019. This same study also states that in 2019 there were 166,152 users who were victims of cybercrime, 37% more than in 2018. Other notable aspects of this report are

  • Fraud is the most common type of incident according to INCIBE (National Institute of Cybersecurity) and the Statistical System of Crime.
  • The tax and financial sectors are the most affected

In addition, cybersecurity measures are now more important than ever as a result of the social and economic situation caused by the current health crisis. Proof of this is the growth in global investment in cybersecurity, reaching 9.7% during the first quarter of 2020, according to the consulting firm Canalys.

User checking if he can forge a signature

Know that it is impossible to forge a signature

eSignatures are created via mechanisms that make them hard to forge as they are based on asymmetric cryptographic procedures using public and private keys from an algorithm. This means that:

  • The private key is only known by the signatory, and is stored on device or in the cloud.
  • The public key is then shared with the recipients of the electronic signature.

The process for creating an electronic signature goes as follows:

  1. The algorithm outputs the private key and a corresponding public key
  2. A signing algorithm that, given a message and a private key, produces a signature, which is encrypted by the private key itself (so the digital signature cannot be forged without access to the private key).
  3. A signature or document verifying algorithm that, given the message, public key and signature, either accepts or rejects the message’s claim to authenticity

Therefore, the only way to forge a signature is by stealing the private key, so we must be extremely careful.

Viafirma to prevent eSignature forgery

Viafirma solutions include many features to prevent forgery and identity frauds.

When a document is signed electronically Viafirma allows you to add different types of legal evidence (ID picture, utterance, biometric evidence, etc). Checkboxes are also supported so signers can express their consent with some terms from the document.

You can configure the signing process to obtain the location of signers, as well as to set the exact date and time of the signing thanks to our qualified timestamp, as we are now considered as Qualified Trust Service Provider by the Spanish Government and we are able to offer qualified timestamping services within the whole European framework.

Another aspect to emphasize is that once we sign electronically Viafirma will include an audit log with information on the entire signing process, and once it’s finished it will be sent automatically to signers

In short, we can conclude that it is hard to forge a signature from Viafirma, as the inclusion of legal evidence will add extra layers of security to the signed contract.

All set?

It’s time to handle documents more efficiently