SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is a protocol that provides secure communication over the internet. It ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data transmitted between a web browser and a web server.

SSL works by encrypting the data exchanged between the browser and server, making it unreadable to anyone who may intercept it. This encryption is achieved using cryptographic algorithms that scramble the data into an unreadable format, which can only be decrypted by the intended recipient.

The encryption process begins with the browser requesting a secure connection to the server. The server responds by sending its digital certificate, which contains its public key. The browser verifies the authenticity of the certificate by checking its validity and the trustworthiness of the certificate authority that issued it.

Once the certificate is verified, the browser generates a random symmetric session key, which is used to encrypt and decrypt the data during the session. This session key is then encrypted using the server’s public key and sent back to the server.

From this point onward, all data exchanged between the browser and server is encrypted using the session key. This ensures that even if someone intercepts the data, they will not be able to decipher it without the session key.

SSL also provides integrity checks by using digital signatures. The server signs each transmitted message with its private key, and the browser verifies the signature using the server’s public key.

To learn more about SSL security, you can check our blog: Online Security 101.

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