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How does SSL work?
Computing and networking

How does SSL work?

It takes approx. 2 minutes to read this article

SSL is a network protocol that, through the use of encryption algorithms, provides a secure connection between a web browser and the server that hosts a website. In order for SSL to work properly, an appropriate security certificate, issued by a Certification Authority, is required.

SSL protocol

The SSL protocol is usually based on asymmetric encryption, which means that two keys are always needed to decrypt data: a public and a private key. The first is made publicly available by the server, while the second is kept secret and used only on the server side.

When accessing a website, our browser retrieves the server’s public key – using it, it encrypts the data in such a way that only the server with which the connection is established will be able to decrypt it. The transmitted data is decrypted using the server’s private key

By using this technique, we can be sure that even if someone steals our data, it will be useless to that person because without knowing one of the keys, the true content of the information will never be revealed. The probability that someone would break such a key is close to zero, because most services using SSL use at least 256-bit keys, which means 2^256 probabilities. It would take years to crack such a key.

Main Photo: Dan Nelson/unsplash.com

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