By Ivan Ristić
Knowing and deploying SSL/TLS and PKI to safe servers and internet functions, by way of Ivan Ristić
For procedure directors, builders, and IT protection pros, this publication offers a finished insurance of the ever-changing box of SSL/TLS and web PKI. Written via Ivan Ristić, a safety researcher and writer of SSL Labs, this booklet will educate you every little thing you want to be aware of to guard your platforms from eavesdropping and impersonation assaults.
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Extra resources for Bulletproof SSL and TLS
You’ve already seen in this chapter that security relies on known encryption algorithms and secret keys. Those keys are simply very long random numbers. The problem with random numbers is that computers tend to be very predictable. They follow instructions to the letter. 15 This is because truly random numbers can be obtained only by observing certain physical processes. In absence of that, computers focus on collecting small 15 Some newer processors have built-in random number generators that are suitable for use in cryptography.
For example, advances in computer power could make it possible to brute-force the key. Alternatively, the key could be obtained using legal powers, coercion, bribery, or by breaking into a server that uses it. After the key compromise, it’s possible to decrypt all previously recorded traffic. Other main key exchange mechanisms used in TLS don’t suffer from this problem and are said to support forward secrecy. When they are used, each connection uses an independent master secret. A compromised server key could be used to impersonate the server but couldn’t be used to retroactively decrypt any traffic.
For example, the public key algorithm must match that used in the suite. In addition, some key exchange mechanisms depend upon certain data being embedded in the certificate, and the certificates must be signed with algorithms supported by the client. All of this implies that the server could be configured with multiple certificates (each with a potentially different chain). This Certificate message is optional, because not all suites use authentication and because there are some authentication methods that don’t require certificates.