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Type: Public
Industry: Internet, Communications, Registry
Founded: USA (1995)
Founder(s): Jim Bidzos
Headquarters: 487 East Middlefield Road,

Mountain View, CA 94043,

Country: USA
Employees: 2,225
Revenue: $1.5 billion USD (2007)
Key People
Mark McLaughlin, CEO
D. James Bidzos, Chairman
TLDs: 13
Registrations: 11,397

More Info: nTLDStats

VeriSign is an internet infrastructure service provider. It is s based in Mountain View, CA and was founded in 1995. VeriSign has offices in California, Washington D.C., Indiana ,and also Japan, India, Brazil, China, Australia, Switzerland, and the UK.

VeriSign provides naming services and authentication services. The registry services include the provision of authoritative directory of:

Its authentication services include business authentication services such as implementing and operating secure networks, utilizing SSL protocol, encrypting transactions and communications, and user authentication services such as, identity protection , fraud detection, and public key infrastructure.[1]


  • 1995 RSA pioneered two-factor authentication and encryption and VeriSign was founded as a 'spin-off' of the RSA security technology to act as a certificate authority.[2]
  • June, 1995 VeriSign announced partnerships with Apple Computer Inc. and Netscape Communications Corp. to implement VeriSign's Digital IDs in their software products.[3]
  • January, 1996 VeriSign introduced the first online digital certificate issue system at the RSA Data Security Conference in San Francisco.[5] VeriSign also announced an agreement with Terisa Systems to develop a new and complete internet security solution.[6]
  • January, 1996 Secure Email was launched. VeriSign lunched Code Signing with Microsoft in March 1996. In August, 1996, Microsoft and VeriSign announced the availability of client authentication technology for Microsoft IE users by using VeriSign Digital IDs. [7]
  • 1997, the First Internet Commerce Transactions Linking Europe, Asia, and the United States was conducted by Verifone and VeriSign.[8] The United States Department of Commerce approved VeriSign's plans to issue new VeriSign Global Server IDs in June 1997 allowing 128-bit encryption.[9]
  • 1997 VeriSign filed to raise $40 million for its public stock.[10] On January 10, 1998, VeriSign went public.[11]
  • July, 1997 VeriSign is acquired by SecureIT, a network security service company.[12]
  • October, 1998 VeriSign released a fully integrated PKI platform, OnSite 4.0.[13]
  • November, 1998 VeriSign offered Y2k testing certs for free.
  • December, 1998, VeriSign introduced digital certificate service for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) servers and gateways.[14]
  • Verisign sold Network Solution in November, 2003 to Pivotal Private Equity for about $100 million.[15]
  • May, 2005 VeriSign introduced a new 2048 bit VeriSign Class 3 Secure Server CA which was used to sign Secure Site Certificates obtained from thier website for IIS web servers.[16]
  • November, 2005 VeriSign's payment gateway business, Paypal, was sold to eBay for approximately $370 million.[17].
  • December, 2006 VeriSign introduces Extended Validation SSL Certificates, standard practices for certificate validation and display approved by a group of leading SSL Certificate Authorities and browser vendors.[18]
  • November, 2007 VeriSign announced plans to divest in its slower growing units and invest more in website naming and internet security services.[19] Report shown these steps had cuthalf of its employeers.
  • 2008 VeriSign sold its global Digital Brand Management Services business for US$50 million to MelbourneIT.[22]


  • January, 2005- VeriSign buys wireless photo messaging firm LightSurf for about $270 million.[24].
  • July, 2005- VeriSign aquires security intelligence specialist iDefense for $40 Million.[27].
  • March, 2006- VeriSign anounced acquisition of Kontiki for $62 million.[28].

Products and Services

VeriSign provides its services through two divisions, its Internet Services division and the Security Service Division. The Internet Services division includes Naming & Directory Services such as domain name registration for .com and .net, and DNS-related and RFID services.

Verisign sold its Security Services to Symantec in May, 2010. VeriSign's Security Services included managing services such firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, vulnerability protection, etc. It also provided global security consulting, email security, authentication and digital certificate/SSL validation, and Extended Validation (High Assurance) SSL Certificates.

Selling Authentication Services Business to Symantec

VeriSign's logo, a check mark and the tag "VeriSign Secured" is one of the most trusted trademark of secured website. Even though providing internet security was the primary objective of the company, over time VeriSign shifted its priority to website management and domain registration business.

VeriSign began by selling some of its services piecemeal. Finally, in May 2010, VeriSign sold the entire division to Symantec for 1.28 million.[32] Because of this deal, Symantec now has the right to VeriSign's logo and the "VeriSign Secured" tag for SSL certification.

Domain Slamming

In May 2002, BulkRegister sued VeriSign for domain slamming.[33] BulkRegister claimed VeriSign "engaged in unfair practices" with a recent marketing campaign that attempted to get domain owners to use VeriSign to renew their existing policy. In 2003, VeriSign was found not to have broken the law and as a result did not need to pay any fine. However, VeriSign was barred from suggesting domain renewal or expiration prospects.[34]

Site Finder Service and Issues with ICANN

VeriSign launched Site Finder September, 2007, which caused a user to be redirected to its Site Finder search engine after the user attempted to access an unregistered address. ICANN published a report against this policy stating "VeriSign violated architectural principles, codes of conduct and good practice." ICANN had declared Site Finder in violation of VeriSign's contracts for running the master address lists for .com[35] Later, ICANN asked VeriSign to suspend its Site Finder service.[36]

In October,a hearing took place place in Washington, D.C. to review technical issues with the U.S. Department of Commerce, which gives permission to VeriSign to operate the DNS for .com and .net; VeriSign subsequently shut down the service.

Later, in February 2004, VeriSign sued ICANN claiming it had unlawfully been prevented from adding new features to .com and .net.[37]. In August 2004, the claim was moved from federal to California state court. [38] Eventually, in late 2005, VeriSign and ICANN announced a proposed settlement introducing terms for new registry services in the .com registry.

The documents of these agreements are publicly available at ICANN's official website and can be viewed here. It should be mentioned that the terms of these agreement were subject to public criticism.

Also, in other domain name negotiations with ICANN, VeriSign traded the .org TLD in return for continued rights over .com. In mid 2005, when VeriSign's contract for operation with .net expired, VeriSign and 5 other companies bid for it. VeriSign was supported by renowned IT companies like Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems, and MCI. Finally, on June 8, 2005 ICANN announced that VeriSign had been approved to operate .net until 2011.[39]


External links