Incredibly, after nearly 3 weeks of back and forth, we finally find a way to get the certificate approval process going, our CPA (to approve our phone number) has been called and our office has been called as well. You can’t choose what number they call, they check it online using DUNS or other services. And this is just the beginning of how the code signing certificates’ journey of pain saga continues.

If you haven’t read part 1 in the Journey of Pain series, you can do so here

Next steps for creating a certificate aka having your teeth pulled

During the automatic call, you need to write down a code, click on a link the CA provider sends via email and use the code to finalize the verification.

Then you receive an email with a link, to create the certificate. That process is as annoying and cumbersome as the process was to get the license link itself.

Now you need to use the same computer to generate the code signing certificate that you used to register with the CA. Unfortunately, I have several desktops and notebooks and the whole process started over 2 weeks ago. Luckily I used the Linux notebook I travel with (and not the one in the Houston office – as I wouldn’t have access to it for some weeks).

Btw when you try to generate with another system, you receive some warnings and errors as well.

Oh and when you use MS Windows, forget about Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, you are forced to use either Firefox or Internet Explorer.

If it worked, there are some articles about how to export your key:

In my case I used Ubuntu, so I was forced to install Firefox, visit the Comodo page, accept the certificate and found my way to the certificate library of Firefox. I want to save you some time if you’re in the same situation and describe the steps it required.

  1. Visit the page that Comodo (Sectigo) sends you with the exact same computer as you created the request and use Firefox (Linux) or Internet Explorer (Windows).
  2. Open the Preferences page of Firefox, select Privacy and Security (URL: about:preferences#privacy), scroll down and click View Certificates:

  1. Select the certificate you want to export the pfx file:

  1. Click Backup to export the certificate:

It’s highly recommended that you use a very strong password to protect your private key! It’s very important to save the file in a safe location and make sure it’s well protected!

  1. Never ever send that file to anybody!

  1. Choose a filename and you can use a file extension .pfx.

Now I have my private key as a pfx file secured by a strong password, but how to sign an executable?

Code Signing in Windows

Here’s the list of activities

1. Import PFX File.

Before you can start signing code you need to import the code signing certificates in your MS Windows Certificates Management.

Right-click the code signing pfx file and select install pfx. You need to use the private key password that has been used for the certificate export. I used the machine certificate store and select personal as the location, but that’s up to you.

2. Download Signtool

I found these links on google but the installation fails under Microsoft Windows 10 despite the fact that all the articles are dated 2018:

A bit more digging brought up the Windows 10 SDK, which worked fine:

You only need the Software Development Kit packages – roughly 2GB!

3. Sign the executable using Signtool

C:Program Files (x86)Windows Kits10binx64>

You can find many examples to sign code here:

4. Sign using the pfx file

If you don’t want to use the recommended way through an imported certificate, you can just use the pfx file and include the password. The following command is used to sign the Windows version of the vChain CodeNotary vcn command:

signtool.exe sign /f "cert.pfx" /p "pass" vcn

If the signing process went well you should receive the Successfully signed message.

You can doublecheck the properties of the file if the code signing went well:

5. Code signing using an imported certificate

To use the imported cert, we need to know where to find the certificate. Type certmgr to open the certificate manager and right click the correct certificate listing.

I’m going to use the vChain, Inc. certificate to sign the vcn executable. Let’s get the cert location first to be used and then list the certificates:

certutil -enumstore

Show all the certificates of the Personal certificate store:

certutil -store My

That is the certificate I want to use, so I issue the signtool command and use the certificate Cert Hash.

cd C:Program Files (x86)Windows Kits10binx64

signtool.exe sign /sha1 "5953c208a07beb5b59a1e142b1722b96ebfd6195" vcn.exe

If it happens that you only have one code signing certificate, you can just use /a signtool.exe sign /a vcn.exe

Luckily with CodeNotary , it is now possible to do all this in 1 simple step. Signing and verifying software have never been so easy and so secure. Start your free trial today.


Start My Free Trial

If you liked this post, be sure to read the 3rd part in the series and crescendo to highlighting the insanity ‘Code Signing Certificates’ Journey of Pain #3: When Even Signing Isn’t Enough’. Read it here

Metrics and Logs

(formerly, Opvizor Performance Analyzer)

VMware vSphere & Cloud

Monitor and Analyze Performance and Log files:
Performance monitoring for your systems and applications with log analysis (tamperproof using immudb) and license compliance (RedHat, Oracle, SAP and more) in one virtual appliance!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get the latest product updates, company news, and special offers delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Use Case - Tamper-resistant Clinical Trials


Blockchain PoCs were unsuccessful due to complexity and lack of developers.

Still the goal of data immutability as well as client verification is a crucial. Furthermore, the system needs to be easy to use and operate (allowing backup, maintenance windows aso.).


immudb is running in different datacenters across the globe. All clinical trial information is stored in immudb either as transactions or the pdf documents as a whole.

Having that single source of truth with versioned, timestamped, and cryptographically verifiable records, enables a whole new way of transparency and trust.

Use Case - Finance


Store the source data, the decision and the rule base for financial support from governments timestamped, verifiable.

A very important functionality is the ability to compare the historic decision (based on the past rulebase) with the rulebase at a different date. Fully cryptographic verifiable Time Travel queries are required to be able to achieve that comparison.


While the source data, rulebase and the documented decision are stored in verifiable Blobs in immudb, the transaction is stored using the relational layer of immudb.

That allows the use of immudb’s time travel capabilities to retrieve verified historic data and recalculate with the most recent rulebase.

Use Case - eCommerce and NFT marketplace


No matter if it’s an eCommerce platform or NFT marketplace, the goals are similar:

  • High amount of transactions (potentially millions a second)
  • Ability to read and write multiple records within one transaction
  • prevent overwrite or updates on transactions
  • comply with regulations (PCI, GDPR, …)


immudb is typically scaled out using Hyperscaler (i. e. AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure) distributed across the Globe. Auditors are also distributed to track the verification proof over time. Additionally, the shop or marketplace applications store immudb cryptographic state information. That high level of integrity and tamper-evidence while maintaining a very high transaction speed is key for companies to chose immudb.

Use Case - IoT Sensor Data


IoT sensor data received by devices collecting environment data needs to be stored locally in a cryptographically verifiable manner until the data is transferred to a central datacenter. The data integrity needs to be verifiable at any given point in time and while in transit.


immudb runs embedded on the IoT device itself and is consistently audited by external probes. The data transfer to audit is minimal and works even with minimum bandwidth and unreliable connections.

Whenever the IoT devices are connected to a high bandwidth, the data transfer happens to a data center (large immudb deployment) and the source and destination date integrity is fully verified.

Use Case - DevOps Evidence


CI/CD and application build logs need to be stored auditable and tamper-evident.
A very high Performance is required as the system should not slow down any build process.
Scalability is key as billions of artifacts are expected within the next years.
Next to a possibility of integrity validation, data needs to be retrievable by pipeline job id or digital asset checksum.


As part of the CI/CD audit functionality, data is stored within immudb using the Key/Value functionality. Key is either the CI/CD job id (i. e. Jenkins or GitLab) or the checksum of the resulting build or container image.

White Paper — Registration

We will also send you the research paper
via email.

CodeNotary — Webinar

White Paper — Registration

Please let us know where we can send the whitepaper on CodeNotary Trusted Software Supply Chain. 

Become a partner

Start Your Trial

Please enter contact information to receive an email with the virtual appliance download instructions.

Start Free Trial

Please enter contact information to receive an email with the free trial details.