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TLS Encrypts Your Conversations

The secret to TLS is public-key cryptography.There are several mathematical schemes that have been proved able to support public-key schemes, but they all have these three features:

  • Anyone can generate a key pair, consisting of a private key that they keep to themselves and a public key that they can broadcast however they want.
  • If the public key is used to encrypt information, then the resulting block of binary data cannot be read by anyone, anywhere in the world, except by someone who holds the private key.
  • If the system that holds the private key uses it to encrypt information, then any copy of the public key can be used to decrypt the data.

We will focus on how public keys are used in the TLS system: Public keys are used at two different levels within TLS: first, to establish a certificate authority (CA) system that lets servers prove “who they really are” to the clients that want to connect; and, second, to help a particular client and server communicate securely.