This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.
This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.
Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.
Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.
You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.
Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.
The idea is to use digital signing to validate appraisals.
People who have had their homes appraised for example, could get a yearly update purely electronically. Electronic appraisals would have an official expiry date.
To validate an electronic appraisal, you get the seller to email it to you. You run a Java Web Start validator program that downloads its code from the signing authority. That code then does the verification. It does not need online access to either the signing authority or the appraiser to work. It would easily fit into a laptop, but probably not a hand-held just yet.
The validation program verifies the electronic signature and can assure you that the appraisal was indeed made by that appraiser and some details about that appraiser’s qualifications.
Let us say some years down the road somebody stole a copy of an appraiser’s private key certificate or even figured out how to crack the system entirely. Because the client program is Java Web Start, it would soon know about the problem and could request more secure replacement appraisals for any it hand on file.
The simplest fraud is to offer to validate the appraisal using phony software that
looks like the real thing. Always use your own computer to
Always use your own copy of the software to validate appraisals.
Always use your own Internet connection to get software updates.
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