The Internet has its origins in a cooperative research environment and
consequently was not designed with strong security procedures.
However the growth that the Internet is experiencing, and the desire
of many of its users to move into new applications, particularly
electronic trading, is fueling rapid development of security
mechanisms. One such mechanism, proposed by Netscape Communications
Corporation, is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol.
Secure Socket Layer
Netscape have proposed an Internet standard for this protocol which
is currently available as an interent draft
and have also implemented the protocol as part of Netscape version 1.1.
This article explains the key elements of the netscape protocol.
There are three elements to establishing secure communication. They are
- Encrypting data sent between applications
- Distributing the encryption keys
- Authenticating the identity of the end systems
The Netscape proposal address all of these issues. Before looking at
the SSL protocol in detail we review encryption and authentication.
Fri Jun 23 19:57:11 NZST 1995