How Does SSL Work? –
What Is SSL? How Do SSL Certificates Work?
One of the most often asked questions on the internet is, “What is an SSL Certificate?” SSL/TLS is a “cryptographic protocol” that allows a web browser and a server to communicate securely.
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that encrypts data sent across a network SSL certificates are commonly used in websites, mobile apps, emails, fax, messaging, and other applications. TLS stands for ‘Transfer Layer Security.’ The most typical application of an SSL certificate is on a website. You may have observed that certain websites use HTTPS while others use HTTP while exploring the Internet. You might be wondering how they differ. The difference is, of course, an SSL certificate.
Security is symbolized by the ‘S’ in HTTPS. The communication between your PC/smartphone and the webserver of an HTTPS-enabled website is encrypted with an SSL certificate.
Communication takes place between your PC’s or mobile device’s web browser and the website’s web server when you visit a website. After that, both sides exchange information. The information sent between the two is secured by an SSL certificate. From a security and privacy perspective, this is persuasive. Every day, we all communicate a large amount of confidential data over the Internet. This includes sensitive data like email addresses, user names, passwords, credit/debit card numbers, bank account numbers, and so on. If such sensitive information is sent over an insecure protocol, there is a high risk that it will fall into the hands of cybercriminals. A Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) attack occurs when data is intercepted while being transmitted.
Data security should be treated much more seriously by enterprises. Whether it’s inside or outside the organization, a massive amount of confidential information is transferred. Even a single document leak can cause significant damage to a company. SSL certificates come into play in this situation.
What Are the Functions of an SSL Certificate?
Aren’t we all familiar with sending and receiving mail in envelopes? To keep the documents safe, you must have used (or seen!) an envelope seal. In a nutshell, an SSL certificate accomplishes this. Any information transmitted between a client and a server is protected by an SSL certificate. Encryption is used to do so.
What Is Encryption?
SSL certificates enable encryption, as previously stated. Let’s take a look at the process. Any data sent over an HTTPS-enabled website is converted to an unreadable string of characters. If your password is 1234, for example, it could be converted to percent jrt5/*u. Even if a hacker manages to intercept the data in some way, this makes it virtually impossible for them to interpret it.
What is the Process of Encryption?
For centuries, people have used this encryption method. Julius Caesar is thought to have been the first to employ it. Caesar’s Cipher is what it’s known as. Today’s encryption algorithms are far more complicated than Caesar’s Cipher. To convert the bundle of data into an unreadable format, specific algorithms are used. Even supercomputers are unable to crack these algorithms, which are so complex in nature. To crack the 256-bit encryption, a supercomputer would need over 100 years.
What Is the Process of Obtaining an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificates use PKI (public key infrastructure) or PKC (public-key cryptography) to function. Private Key and Public Key are the two cryptographic keys used in this method. The public key is used to encrypt data, while the private key is used to decrypt data.
The Public Key is shared with everyone who receives a certificate when they visit a website, as the name suggests. Without even realizing it, you’re using a public key. In the digital certificate, these keys are stored. Viewing the SSL certificate details in your browser allows you to see a website’s public key.
SSL Certificates and Their Functioning
Both keys are distinct from one another, but they are related. This means that information encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted with the private key associated with it. If the client can verify that the public and private keys match, a secure connection is established. ‘Asymmetric Encryption’ is the term for this.
The SSL Handshake
The process of establishing a secure connection is referred to as an “SSL handshake.” This is not the same as the traditional handshake that we all do daily. Instead, it’s a modern-day handshake (as done by the “cool” millennials). Hello, server verification and key transfer are the three steps in this handshake (no dabbing necessary!).
The client and the server greet each other, just as we (well, most of us!) do when we meet someone new. ClientHello is a message sent to the server by the client. Some SSL certificate information is included in this “Hello.” The server replies with a ServerHello message to the ClientHello message. Similar to the ClientHello message, it contains similar information.
Verify the server: The client and server now have a secure connection (a good amount of comfort between the two). The client now verifies the server’s identity. What do you mean? An SSL certificate is used. The owner/information, organization’s as well as the public key’s location and validity dates, are all contained in an SSL certificate. The client verifies that the certificate was validated by a recognized certificate authority (CA).
After the client has verified and authenticated the server, both parties must share their keys. The client uses the public key to generate a pre-master key after the server’s verification is completed. The server will then receive this pre-master key. Using its own private key, the server decrypts the pre-master key. Both the client and the server generate a new key this way. Asymmetric Encryption is demonstrated here. The information transferred between the client and the server is encrypted and decrypted with this master key. Symmetric Encryption is the name for this technique. To ensure a secure connection, both encryption techniques are used.
What Details Does an SSL Certificate Include?
The name of the party to whom the SSL certificate was issued is included in the certificate. The following data is included in it:
No matter which type of SSL certificate is installed on the website, the aforementioned information is included. The advanced level SSL certificates, on the other hand, contain some additional information. Organization validation (OV) and extended validation (EV) SSL certificates, for example, include the following information about the organization: