(n.) A widely used standard for defining digital certificates. X.509 (Version 1) was first issued in 1988 as a part of the ITU X.500 Directory Services standard. When X.509 was revised in 1993, two more fields were added resulting in the Version 2 format. These two additional fields support directory access control. X.509 Version 3 defines the format for certificate extensions used to store additional information regarding the certificate holder and to define certificate usage. Collectively, the term X.509 refers to the latest published version, unless the version number is stated.
X.509 is published as ITU recommendation ITU-T X.509 (formerly CCITT X.509) and ISO/IEC/ITU 9594-8 which defines a standard certificate format for public key certificates and certification validation. With minor differences in dates and titles, these publications provide identical text in the defining of public-key and attribute certificates.
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