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© December 2004 Tony Lawrence

The open incarnation of SSL. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) was the original encryption for web sessions, TLS (Transport Layer Security) does exactly the same thing but is open source.

You use one or the other whenever you use https instead of http to access a web page. When a web page tells you it is going to send you to a "secure server", it's sending you to something that uses one or the other. Whether or not you had to login (authenticate), everything transmitted over these protocols is encrypted.

If you have a Linux or other modern Unix machine, you have the "openssl" command which, in addition to what it was wriiten to do, can also help help you debug ssl connections. For example:

 openssl s_client -connect
depth=0 /CN=fmail/OU=foo/O=foo.org/L=sharon/ST=ma/C=US
verify error:num=18:self signed certificate
verify return:1
depth=0 /CN=fmail/OU=foo/O=foo.org/L=sharon/ST=ma/C=US
verify return:1
Certificate chain
 0 s:/CN=fmail/OU=foo/O=foo.org/L=sharon/ST=ma/C=US
Server certificate
(ssl certificate displayed here)
No client certificate CA names sent
SSL handshake has read 748 bytes and written 340 bytes
New, TLSv1/SSLv3, Cipher is AES256-SHA
Server public key is 1024 bit
    Protocol  : TLSv1
    Cipher    : AES256-SHA
    Session-ID: 6E9E151BBF66A3AF63218459D568504534DAFF9C84588CF87C963C7FD8C7B092
    Master-Key: DC4891E43C5D1F48CA8F2F3E39171DE331CCA6D6163654AFA2F071B77E9C91D12031B789AF559D8E63A5CD2D3A20957F
    Key-Arg   : None
    Start Time: 1101221734
    Timeout   : 300 (sec)
    Verify return code: 18 (self signed certificate)
+OK Foo MailServer POP3 server ready <[email protected]>
user tonyfoo
+OK please send PASS command
pass *********
+OK 0 messages (0 octets)
+OK POP3 server signing off

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

Take Control of OS X Server

Are Your Bits Flipped?

Photos: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Numbers

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