TLS TRANSPORT LAYER SECURITY

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v TRANSPORT LAYER SECURITY

TLS is a successor to Secure Sockets Layer protocol. TLS provides secure communications on the Internet for such things as e-mail, Internet faxing, and other data transfers. There are slight differences between SSL 3.0 and TLS 1.0, but the protocol remains significantly the same. It is good idea to keep in mind that TLS resides on the Application Layer of the OSI model. This will save you a lot of frustrations while debugging and troubleshooting encryption troubles connected to TLS.

v TLS Features

TLS is a generic application layer security protocol that runs over reliable transport. It provides a secure channel to application protocol clients. This channel has three primary security features:

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1. Authentication of the server.

2. Confidentiality of the communication channel.

3. Message integrity of the communication channel.

Optionally TLS can also provide authentication of the client. In general, TLS authentication uses public key based digital signatures backed by certificates. Thus, the server authenticates either by decrypting a secret encrypted under his public key or by signing an ephemeral public key.

The client authenticates by signing a random challenge. Server certificates typically contain the server’s domain name. Client certificates can contain arbitrary identities.

Ø The Handshake Protocols

The TLS Handshake Protocol allows the server and client to authenticate each other and to negotiate an encryption algorithm and cryptographic keys before data is exchanged. In a typical scenario, only the server is authenticated and its identity is ensured while the client remains unauthenticated. The mutual authentication of the servers requires public key deployment to clients.

· Provide security parameters to the record layer.

· A Client sends a ClientHello message specifying the highest TLS protocol version it supports, a random number, a list of suggested cipher suites and compression methods.

· The Server responds with a ServerHello, containing the chosen protocol version, a random number, cipher, and compression method from the choices offered by the client.

· The Server sends its Certificate (depending on the selected cipher, this may be omitted by the Server).

· The server may request a certificate from the client, so that the connection can be mutually authenticated, using a Certificate Request.

· The Server sends a ServerHelloDone message, indicating it is done with handshake negotiation.

· The Client responds with a ClientKeyExchange which may contain a PreMasterSecret, public key, or nothing. (Again, this depends on the selected cipher).

The Handshake protocol provides a number of security functions. Such as Authentication, Encryption, Hash Algorithms

· Authentication

A certificate is a digital form of identification that is usually issued by a certification authority (CA) and contains identification information,

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