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What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer or SSL is a secure protocol, which is the reason why secure E-Commerce and E-Banking is possible. It has become the de facto standard for secure and safe only transactions.


What SSL does

in short would be, encrypt data at the sender's end and decrypt data at the receiver's end. This encrypted data cannot be picked up or hijacked in between and any tampering would not only be very difficult, it would easily be detected. Not only that, SSL also provides for two-way authentication i.e. verification of the client's and the server's identity.

The various functions or features of SSL can be divided into three main categories-:

1.)SSL Encrypted Connection-: Provides for secure and safe transaction of encrypted data between the client and the host.

2.)SSL Client Authentication: is an optional feature, which allows for verification of the client's identity.

3.)SSL server Authentication: provides for verification of the server's Certificate Authority (CA) which is nothing but a trusted safe host certificate given to the server by companies like Verisign, Cybertrust, Thawte and more.

The main SSL protocol is made up of two smaller sub-protocols-:
1.)The Secure Sockets Layer Record Protocol or The SSL Record Protocol.

2.)The Secure Sockets Layer Handshake Protocol or The SSL Handshake Protocol.



The SSL Record Protocol looks after the transmission and the transmission format of the encrypted data. Also it is this sub-protocol of SSL, which ensures data integrity in the transfer process. On the other hand the SSL Handshake protocol basically helps to determine the session key. To understand both these protocols better, read on.

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