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VeriSign Partners With Diyar United and MAK to Provide National PKI Program for Kuwait Government

LONDON (Marketwire) - With Kuwait setting its sights on launching a National ID Card program, the country's government has selected VeriSign, Inc. (www.verisign.com) (NASDAQ: VRSN), the leading provider of Internet infrastructure for the networked world, to provide the secure authentication, encryption and digital certificate technologies needed to underpin the new program.

The Kuwaiti Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), the government organization responsible for the ID issuance for the population of Kuwait, chose the VeriSign® National Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) Platform to enable the new effort to provide ID cards to more than three million citizens and visa holders. VeriSign is providing the PKI solution through VeriSign's partner and reseller in Kuwait Diyar United Company (DUC), a regional information and communication technology leader, under the umbrella of Mohamed Abdul Mohsen Al-Kharafi (MAK), the prime contractor and a world renowned organization.

The in-premise VeriSign National PKI Platform gives governments like Kuwait's a trusted identity infrastructure that empowers citizens to transact electronically for government and commercial services. PKI plays a critical role in e-government by allowing countries to leverage authentication, encryption, and digital signature technologies when issuing identity certificates, business certificates, and device certificates. The trust enabled by these certificates helps Kuwaiti government agencies streamline operations, minimize the risk of fraud and waste, as well as disseminate information more easily and securely.

"The new Smart Card ID shall become a key enabler of online services in this age of expanding technology and the proliferation of internet-based services. The card shall provide the card holder with digital certificates enabling secure authentication, digital signature and encryption services. Paving the way to a more trustworthy and secure experience with diverse online services, especially E-Government and E-Commerce services. Thus, this National ID Card program will make it easier for our citizens to conduct business all while keeping their sensitive personal information safe and intact," said Musaed Al-Asousi, PACI Director General, the State of Kuwait. "Partnering with key technology providers such as VeriSign, DUC and MAK therefore was a key aspect in realizing our project goals and objectives."

Kuwait's National ID Card program leverages the VeriSign® Certificate Lifecycle Platform (CLP), which provides the same rich functionality and robust architecture that VeriSign employs for the thousands of customers that use its VeriSign® Managed PKI Services. Meanwhile, Kuwait retains full control of the program, since all components -- Certificate Authorities as well as data -- are kept in-country.

The VeriSign National PKI and CLP platforms integrate with DUC's National Identity System. The DUC solution provides a framework that enables governments to integrate the latest technologies of secure ID production with mainframe and legacy applications. The framework allows governments to provide citizens and residents with secure identity documents in a single integrated transaction that adheres to the business and security rules on the legacy system, while supporting all rules defined in the National Identity System solution.

"National ID Card programs are growing increasingly vital in this region of the world, and we're proud to join with VeriSign to build trust and authentication into Kuwait's National ID Card program," said Mohamed Mahfouz, Senior Project Manager at DUC. "VeriSign, as a world leader in providing PKI solutions, has provided us with a full featured system as well as excellent PKI knowledge transfer. In addition, VeriSign has partnered with us in all phases of the project, assuring the solution will achieve the planned goals and objectives. For DUC and the government of Kuwait, those unique advantages will help ensure a successful National ID Card implementation."

"The government of Kuwait recognizes the importance and mission critical nature of a National PKI Program in today's digital society, and we're proud to provide the platform to ensure that Kuwait's program is reliable, trusted, secure and easy for citizens to use," said Phil D'Angio, Director of Business Development at VeriSign. "Working with DUC we were able to implement the PKI policies, Certificate Authority (CA) hierarchies, integrate with a Card Management System (CMS), and conduct the necessary training and knowledge transfer to successfully deliver the National ID Card certificates in less than two months. VeriSign's National PKI Platform is designed to streamline delivery of the technology and bring PKI expertise to projects without overcomplicating and confusing its partners and customers. This project is a great example of how the program's maturity and simplicity enables governments to implement PKI at the national level on-time and on-budget."

Since 1995, VeriSign has issued and managed tens of millions of PKI certificates for thousands of customers throughout the world, primarily through its managed services offerings. The scalable and extensible VeriSign National PKI Platform builds on those implementations to provide a robust, comprehensive solution for national PKI deployments in-country rather than through its managed service. Governments can manage their own certificates, with end-to-end control over millions of end user digital certificates on a global scale. VeriSign also supports easy, rapid deployment of PKI applications and strong authentication using smart cards across major Web browsers and platforms -- an advantage for governments aiming to simplify high-volume delivery of PKI digital certificates and applications via the latest generation of smart cards. The solution also is designed to make it easy for Kuwait and other governments to deploy today and to expand their use of PKI, adding new devices and services without having to redesign their PKI architecture. For more information on VeriSign's National PKI Program please see http://www.verisign.com/static/national-pki-government-trust.pdf.

Tags, Keywords: VeriSign, PKI, public key infrastructure, digital certificates, encryption, National ID Card

About VeriSign

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, VeriSign helps companies and consumers all over the world engage in communications and commerce with confidence. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisign.com.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause VeriSign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as the inability of VeriSign to successfully develop and market new products and services and customer acceptance of any new products or services, including the VeriSign PKI Platform; the possibility that VeriSign's announced new services may not result in additional customers, profits or revenues; and increased competition and pricing pressures. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in VeriSign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. VeriSign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release.

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