When working with digital certificates and signing files or executables, its never a simple thing to do. After obtaining a digital certificate you typically need to install software or import .crt files to start signing files, like the DigiCert Certificate Utility.


But it can be much easier – let’s digitally sign a file fully automatic with a valid Microsoft digital certificate. 😉

Digitally Signing a file for Dummies

First create a simple text file – file name doesn’t matter.

Then, change the content by only adding a 0, nothing else and also no new line.

Check the digital signature

You can also create the file with the 0 content using the PowerShell and then check the digital signature:

set-content -path testfile.txt "0" -NoNewline
Get-AuthenticodeSignature .testfile.txt | fl

Amazing! We signed the file with a Microsoft digital certificate. It’s so simple nowadays.

Luckily if the file has any other content (at least that’s what we’re aware of), no signature is shown. Also the Windows File Explorer is not showing any signs of a timestamp or digital signature.


While a file containing a 0 is no risk to your operating system and can’t contain any malicious code, it leaves a bad feeling. What if that bug is not just about "0" files and someone finds a way to leverage that bug for other malicious attempts?

If you simply rely on digital certificates for integrity, you might suffer a similar fraud yourself. Using CodeNotary.io gives you more than just additional protection and secured integrity – it can also be used for any digital asset without limitations.

Start Signing for Free

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.
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on email

Subscribe to our newsletter

White Paper — Registration

We will send you the research paper via email.

CodeNotary — Webinar

White Paper — Registration

Please let us know who you are, so we can send you the CodeNotary Trusted Software Supply Chain white paper.

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.