Apache Configuration -- Advanced - SSL on Apache
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As anyone who has bought something online will know, security when performing business transactions on the Internet is of huge importance. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a protocol that implements the Public Key encryption algorithm to provide this security. I won’t go into the actual mathematics and cryptography of how this works, as it is beyond the purview of this article. Suffice it to say, this protocol allows clients to connect to a Web server across the public Internet with confidence that the traffic between themselves and the server cannot be read by third parties. They can also have confidence that no third party has redirected their traffic from a known, trusted server to a malicious, unknown server.
Conversely, SSL also prevents hackers from impersonating users in communication with servers. It is currently the best system in general use that gives both servers and users confidence that their communication is actually going where they expect it to go and cannot be read, hijacked or mistreated in some way en-route. While SSL was originally designed for use solely on the Web as a security protocol for Internet shopping, it has since seen extension to many other protocols that send data in plaintext over the Internet, including FTP, POP3 and IMAP. Many of these servers now implement an SSL version of their basic protocols that encrypts their data as it leaves for the Internet and decrypts inbound traffic. Also, with the advent of workplace use of instant messaging for actual business purposes, many IM providers have implemented secure features on their protocols as well, based on SSL.
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