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SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

SSL is a Web protocol for establishing authenticated and encrypted sessions between Web servers and Web clients. SSL starts with a handshake routine that first establishes a TCP/IP connection. Next, the server is authenticated to the client by verifying its public key. Once authenticated, the server selects the strongest cryptographic algorithm supported by both the client and server and within the restrictions enforced by a particular country. Next, a shared secret key is generated that is used to encrypt all data flowing between the client and server. Finally, an encrypted SSL connection is established.

This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:

  • SSL history and versions
  • SSL features and benefits, including authentication, confidentiality, and integrity
  • SSL session description
  • SSL usage and port configurations
  • The IETF's equivalent TLS (Transport Layer Security)
  • SSL and certificates
  • SSL cryptographic support
  • SSL 3.0 handshake and connection routine, with step-by-step description and illustrations

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.