SSL - Computer Definition
A security protocol developed by Netscape Communications Corporation, SSL includes authentication and negotiates point-to-point security between client and server, including type of encryption scheme and exchange of encryption keys. SSL sends messages over a socket, which is a secure channel at the connection layer and existing in virtually every TCP/IP application. Although SSL can accommodate a number of encryption algorithms, Netscape has licensed RSA end-to-end public key encryption, as well as key creation and certification. Unlike S-HTTP, SSL is application independent and works with all Internet tools, not just the World Wide Web (WWW). SSL has emerged as a de facto standard. See also authentication, client, de facto, encryption, Internet, protocol, public key encryption, RSA, server, S-HTTP, socket, standard, TCP/IP, and WWW.
(1) (Solid State Lighting) See LED lighting.
(2) (Secure Sockets Layer) The leading security protocol on the Internet prior to TLS. Developed by Netscape, SSL has been widely used to validate the identity of a website, to create an encrypted connection for credit card and personal data and to ensure the transmission is without error. HTTPS and Port Number 443 An SSL session starts by sending a request to the Web server with an HTTPS prefix in the URL, which inserts SSL port number 443 into the packets. See well-known port. The Handshake After both sides acknowledge each other, the browser sends the server a list of supported algorithms, and the server responds with its choice and a signed digital certificate. From an internal list of certificate authorities (CAs), the browser uses the appropriate public key to validate the certificate. Both sides also send each other random numbers. See digital certificate. Data for Secret Keys Is Passed The browser extracts the public key of the website from the server's certificate and uses it to encrypt a pre-master key and send it to the server. At each end, the client and server independently use the pre-master key and random numbers passed earlier to generate the secret keys used to encrypt and decrypt the rest of the session. See TLS, server-gated cryptography, OpenSSL, security protocol and public key cryptography. SSL and TLS SSL was superseded by TLS (Transport Layer Security). TLS 1.0 came out in 1999 and is very similar to the last SSL version (SSL 3.0, 1996) but not identical. They are not interoperable; however, most websites and browsers support both, and the acronyms SSL/TLS and TLS/SSL are widely used. See TLS.