Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Transport Layer Security

The TLS protocol allows applications to communicate across a network in a way designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery. TLS provides endpoint authentication and communications privacy over the Internet using cryptography. Typically, only the server is authenticated (i.e., its identity is ensured) while the client remains unauthenticated; this means that the end user (whether an individual or an application, such as a Web browser) can be sure with whom it is communicating. The next level of security — in which both ends of the "conversation" are sure with whom they are communicating — is known as mutual authentication. Mutual authentication requires public key infrastructure (PKI) deployment to clients unless TLS-PSK or the Secure Remote Password (SRP) protocol are used, which provide strong mutual authentication without needing to deploy a PKI.

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