Windows PowerShell Code Signing Certificate

PowerShell is an all-in-one platform-independent solution used to automate system operations. It leverages you with a command-line interface to interact with the system, a scripting language to develop effort-reducing logic, and a management framework.

PowerShell leads to streamlining repetitive tasks and saves time across Windows, macOS, and Linux-based machines.

Things To Know Before You Sign the PowerShell Script

Whether you are Signing PowerShell Script for the first time or the hundredth time, you must understand the following primary aspects. As a result, loopholes will get prevented, and your script will run in a secure environment.

  • The Latest PowerShell Update

    Before you create and sign the script, you must ensure that your system has the latest version of PowerShell. It will help you to prevent cyber-attacks, exploit the loopholes in the unpatched versions, and write a script in a more secure environment.

  • Usage of Trusted Code Signing Certificate

    Always prefer Code Signing Certificate from a trustworthy Certificate Authority, such as Sectigo and Comodo, to ensure smooth execution. In addition, the system will recognize your PowerShell script as legitimate and run it without showing an Unknown Publisher Warning. Thus, the end-user will receive a top-rate experience.

  • Script Analysis Before Signing

    Sign PowerShell scripts only after verifying their functionality with the development objectives. Moreover, only authorized persons must access the script and make relevant alterations if required. It will aid you in guaranteeing a reliable script, not providing any harm to the end-user's system.

  • Hardware Security Utilization

    Solidify the security of cryptographic keys to ensure that only an authorized person can alter and sign the script. Utilize a Hardware Security Module (HSM) validated by the FIPS. Besides, you can use an EV Code Signing Certificate, providing a private key in a hardware token by default.

  • Utilize Different Keys

    Don't use the same keys for every PowerShell script; if any key gets breached, you have to sign all the scripts again. In addition, create a policy to utilize a single key for a specific number of software to prevent significant productivity, revenue, and reputation loss.

  • Prefer The Latest Algorithm

    Before signing the PowerShell script, verify the hashing and encryption algorithm used by the Code Signing Certificate. You should use the certificate leveraging with 2048-bit or higher encryption standards. As its outcome, the script's integrity, confidentiality, and availability will get maintained.

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Multiple Year Option
RSA Encryption Key 3072-bit or 4096-bit 3072-bit or 4096-bit 3072-bit or 4096-bit 3072-bit or 4096-bit 3072-bit or 4096-bit
Microsoft SmartScreen Reputation Boost Up
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Fully Compatible for Sun Java Signing
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Support Microsoft Office VBA Signing
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Supported File Formats 32-Bit And 64-Bit 32-Bit And 64-Bit 32-Bit And 64-Bit 32-Bit And 64-Bit 32-Bit And 64-Bit
Windows Phone Apps Signing
Refund Policy Within 30 Days from Purchase Date Within 30 Days from Purchase Date Within 30 Days from Purchase Date Within 30 Days from Purchase Date Within 30 Days from Purchase Date
Issuance Time 1 to 3 Days 1 to 3 Days 1 to 5 Days 1 to 3 Days 1 to 5 Days
Validation Required Business/Individual Business/Individual Full Business Validation Business/Individual Full Business Validation
Physical USB Token Storage
Displays Business Name
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Why do you need to Digitally Sign a PS1 (PowerShell Script)?

Digitally signing a PowerShell Script leverages the developer to bind its identity with it, helping to increase brand awareness. In addition, when you sign a PS1 file, its source code undergoes hashing and encryption, converting it to an unreadable format. Therefore, cyber-attackers will get restricted from reading and tamper the code.

Furthermore, most of the users enable the AllSigned Policy on their system. Hence, the device only runs the scripts signed by the publisher. And by signing a PS1 file, you comply with the policy, leading to executing the program seamlessly.

Mechanism To Create and Run PowerShell Scripts on Windows 10

To create a PowerShell script, Windows provide you with three alternatives. The first is to use Visual Studio Code IDE by installing the PowerShell extension. The second mechanism is to use notepad, and the third method is to use Windows PowerShell ISE.

You can use any method among the mentioned three and have to save the file with the .ps1 extension.

Further, to run the PowerShell script on Windows 10, you need to modify its execution policy. Open the PowerShell Console with administrator controls, change the policy to RemoteSigned and then provide the path to the script. Following it, the system will start running your script.

What are the PowerShell Execution Policies in Windows 10?

  • Restricted Policy – It doesn't allow any script to run.
  • RemoteSigned Policy – Allows scripts developed on the same system and scripts with the publisher’s signature to run.
  • AllSigned Policy – Runs every script if it successfully authorizes the publisher through its sign.
  • Unrestricted Policy – Allows to run any script, with and without the publisher's signature.

How do I Find the Execution Policy in Your PowerShell?

To find the execution policy running on your machine, you must execute the steps below.

Step 1: Search for PowerShell and run it as administrator by right-clicking on it and selecting run as administrator.

Step 2: Execute the command Get-ExecutionPolicy. It will display the current PowerShell policy.


PS> Get-ExecutionPolicy -List

Scope ExecutionPolicy






PS> Get-ExecutionPolicy


Verify Signature After Using the Microsoft Authenticode Signing Certificate

After signing the PowerShell script, you must always verify whether the procedure gets completed.
And for it, you can use any of the following three methods.

Checking by Opening the Script

Open the PS1 file using any text editor. Scroll down to the end of the code. If you find an unreadable text between # SIG # Begin signature block and # SIG # End signature block, then your script has the publisher’s signature.

Verify Through Script File Properties

Step 1: Right-click on the PowerShell script file, and a menu will get displayed. Select the Properties option from the list.

Step 2: Select the Digital Signatures Tab from the Properties window. A list of signatures will get displayed.

Step 3: Find the recent signature details in the list.

Running the command in PowerShell

Execute the following command in PowerShell with administrator control to verify the digital signature.

Get-AuthenticodeSignature -FilePath C:\\ATA\\myscript.ps1 | Select-Object -Property *

Further, replace C:\\ATA\\myscript.ps1 with the path to your PS1 file.

How to Fix the “not digitally signed error”?

When you try to verify the digital sign through PowerShell, you can see not a digitally signed error. However, you can sign your script, but still, the system can display such an error. Therefore, you can execute any of the following procedures to resolve it.

Modify the PowerShell Execution Policy

Step 1: Open the PowerShell with administrator controls and run Get-ExecutionPolicy to know the current policy.

Step 2: Change the policy to Unrestricted by executing Set-ExecutionPolicy unrestricted command.

Bypass the Current PowerShell Session

Run the Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process -ExecutionPolicy Bypass command to bypass the current session. After it, rerun the verification command.

Unblocking the Downloaded File

Execute the Unblock-File -Path C:\Download\powershell.ps1 to unblock the file. Replace C:\Download\powershell.ps1 with the path to your PowerShell script file.

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