Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Updated Digital Signature Standard Approved as Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)186-3



Shirley M. Radack


This bulletin summarizes the information in Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) Publication 186-3, Digital Signature Standard (DSS). Approved in June 2009 by the Secretary of Commerce for use by federal government agencies in protecting the government's information and information systems, the revised standard replaces FIPS 186 2, and specifies three techniques for the generation and verification of digital signatures. The bulletin discusses the use of digital signatures to prove to the recipient of data or to a third party that a message or data was signed by the originator and that the data was not changed, and explains the changes that are specified in the revised standard. Other topics covered in the bulletin include how digital signatures are generated and verified, the validation of cryptographic modules that implement FIPS approved algorithms, and NIST s plans for the transition to the revised standard. Information is provided on how access information about NIST standards and guidelines related to digital signatures and other cryptographic algorithms and techniques.
ITL Bulletin -


cryptography, Cryptographic Module Validation Program, cryptographic toolkit, Digital Signature Algorithm, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm, Federal Information Processing Standards, information security, information system security, NIST Special Publications, private keys, public keys, Rivest-Shamir-Adelman (RSA) algorithm, secure hash algorithm


Radack, S. (2009), Updated Digital Signature Standard Approved as Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS)186-3, ITL Bulletin, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created September 28, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017