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  SSL certificates
Introduction to SSL certificates

A SSL certificate provides a means of vouching for your web site's integrity and authenticity. If your site requires a secure section, you want people to know that they can trust it. This can be accomplished by installing a SSL certificate on the web server. SSL certificates may be obtained in one of two ways. Your hosting company can create a certificate or one may purchased from a SSL certificate provider such as Equifax, Thawte, or VeriSign. One of the...

Internet Explorer, SSL and binary data

I have encountered a strange problem when straming binary data over SSL using PHP (php 4 as apache module). The user is able to surf SSL pages (html, inline images, assets like styles) which get delivered and isplayed correctly. However, in some places i need to check authentity of the user before streaming data. This means, that the script itself will have to read the file and srteam it out to the client. In this case, php will add some...

Where should I get my SSL Certificate?

Verisign is the oldest of the listed secure SSL certificate providers and currently has the most certificates issued. Their certificates are recognized by virtually all browsers without giving a warning pop up message. Verisign also has the strictest background checking and requirements which may assure a higher degree of confidence from the buying public. With their strict approval guidelines, Verisign offers the best included transaction insurance. On the other hand, many web site owners feel that the function of the...

What is SSL? And how can I use it?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. What this means in plain language is that when a Internet Browser connects to a server connected to the internet the transfer of data between the browser and the server is encrypted. The data is encrypted so no one who is possibly intercepting the data transfer between the two can read it. So while a person can intercept the data transfer they won’t be able to read the data because it will be gibberish...

MIDP Application Security 2: Understanding SSL and TLS

The TLS protocol is an updated version of the SSLv3 protocol, originally created by Netscape. The two protocols are closely related, although not directly interoperable. One of the strengths of TLS is that it operates directly on top of TCP/IP sockets, and they behave very much like TCP/IP sockets as far as higher-level protocols are concerned. As a result it's relatively easy to make network applications use an TLS socket instead of a plain vanilla socket. One common example is...

What is SSL (the "little padlock")?

To get the little padlock, your site must have an SSL Certificate from a Certificate Authority. Once an SSL Certificate has been purchased and installed, it provides three things: The ability to show a page in “Secure Mode”, which encrypts the traffic between the browser and the server, as indicated by the “little padlock” on the user's browser. A guarantee by the issuing Certificate Authority that the domain name the certificate was issued for is indeed owned by the specific company...

What is SSL?

The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Handshake Protocol was developed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide security and privacy over the Internet. The protocol supports server and client authentication. The SSL protocol is application independent, allowing protocols like HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and Telnet to be layered on top of it transparently. Still, SSL is optimized for HTTP; for FTP, IPSec (see Question 5.1.4) might be preferable. The SSL protocol is able to negotiate encryption keys as...

RSA Security and GeoTrust Announce Strategic Partnership to Offer Digital Certificate Solutions

GeoTrust offers a comprehensive suite of SSL certificates, including one of the world’s fastest digital certificate issuance processes. GeoTrust’s SSL certificate solutions complement RSA Security’s secure enterprise access solutions. They are tailored for businesses that prefer to use a managed service provisioning solution instead of hosting their own certificate authority. GeoTrust’s SSL certificates are well suited for a variety of environments, such as helping to ensure the security of enterprise-wide e-business transactions, the trusted distribution of applications on wireless devices,...

How do I generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) for my web server?

The Common Name is typically composed of Host + Domain Name and will look like "" or "". VeriSign Server IDs are specific to the Common Name that they have been issued to at the Host level. The Common Name must be the same as the Web address you will be accessing when connecting to a secure site. For example, a Server ID for the domain "" will receive a warning if accessing a site named "" or "", as...

SSL toolkit flaw poses risk

A vulnerability has been discovered in versions of software development toolkits from RSA Security, which could allow an attacker to bypass SSL client authentication. In a security notice on the issue, RSA said the vulnerability meant that hackers "might potentially gain access to data intended only for authorised users". The company has a patch and it advises customers to apply this to affected software. Due to a bug in the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) session cacheing feature implemented in RSA...