How DCMSIGN Verification Works?

Questions regarding other OFFIS DICOM tools

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How DCMSIGN Verification Works?

#1 Post by sleepycloud » Thu, 2018-12-20, 06:05

Hello there,

I currently make a research regarding information security in telemedicine system.
One of our subject is document signing for dicom-jpeg and waveform format. Anybody here already using dcmsign for their projects? May I know how dcmsign really works with signing implementation and verification?

I search the documentation and dont get a clue at all

Thanks for your appreciation

Marco Eichelberg
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Re: How DCMSIGN Verification Works?

#2 Post by Marco Eichelberg » Tue, 2019-04-09, 15:37

I suppose the answer will come too late to be useful, but it's actually rather simple: The DICOM standard offers a specification on how a digital signature can be created for a certain DICOM object (e.g. image or report) and stored inside the same object/file. A reader that supports digital signatures will check for the presence of a signature whenever an object is loaded from file or received over the network, and will then validate the signature.

What is required for the signature process is a key pair, consisting of a private RSA key and a X.509 certificate containing the public key. As usual with digital signatures, the object to be signed is fed as a byte stream into a cryptographic hash algorithm and the hash is then encrypted with the private key and then stored in the object as a digital signature. The only special thing is that DICOM has very detailed rules on how to convert a DICOM object to a bytestream such that certain encoding options in DICOM (like explicit/undefined length for sequences) do not make the signature invalid when changed. The verification is a two-phase process: The received first validates that the encrypted hash key really matches a newly computed hash key (which establishes that the object is unmodified and that the signature was created by the owner of the private key related to the certificate), and a second phase in which the trustworthiness of the certificate itself is established (i.e. not expired, issued by a trustworthy CA).

How this gets embedded into a clinical workflow is not specified by the DICOM standard, and the lack of responses in the forum probably indicates that this feature is only very rarely used in practice.

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