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Next: Encryption

Secure Socket Layer

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.

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

The Netscape proposal address all of these issues. Before looking at the SSL protocol in detail we review encryption and authentication.

Tony McGregor
Fri Jun 23 19:57:11 NZST 1995