Transport layer security

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The Transport Layer Security Protocol is used to communicate between client-server applications across a network. TLS helps in the communication preventing from the following

  • Tampering,
  • Eavesdropping,
  • Message forgery.

TLS provides the authentication at the endpoints and confidentiality over the network using cryptography and also it provides RSA security with 1024 and 2048 bit strengths In typical end-user/browser usage, TLS authentication is unilateral: only the server is authenticated (the client knows the server’s identity), but not vice versa (the client remains unauthenticated or anonymous). TLS uses handshake protocol for the communication over internet. Following are the steps involved in TLS Handshake Protocol:-

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  1. Both client and server exchanges Hello messages to agree on the algorithms exchange the random values and check for the session resumption between them.
  2. Both client and serer Exchange the necessary cryptographic parameters to agree on a premaster secret.
  3. The certificates and cryptographic information are exchanged between client and server for authenticating themselves. Generate a master secret from the premaster secret and exchanged random values.
  4. Security parameters will be provided to the record layer.
  5. It allows the client and server to verify that their peer has calculated the same security parameters and that the handshake occurred without tampering by an attacker.

Note that higher layers should not be overly reliant on TLS always negotiating the strongest possible connection between two peers. There are a number of ways a man in the middle attacker can attempt to make two entities drop down to the least secure method they support. The protocol has been designed to minimize this risk, but there are still attacks available: for example, an attacker could block access to the port a secure service runs on, or attempt to get the peers to negotiate an unauthenticated connection. The fundamental rule is that higher levels must be cognizant of what their security requirements are and never transmit information over a channel less secure than what they require. The TLS protocol is secure, in that any cipher suite offers its promised level of security: if you negotiate 3DES with a 1024 bit RSA key exchange with a host whose certificate you have verified, you can expect to be that secure.” The message that ends the handshake sends a hash of all the exchanged data seen by both parties. The pseudo random function splits the input data in two halves and processes them with different hashing algorithms (MD5 and SHA), then XORs them together. This way it protects itself in the event that one of these algorithms is found vulnerable. The Windows Server 2003 operating system can use three related security protocols to provide authentication and secure communications over the Internet:

  • Transport Layer Security Version 1.0 (TLS v1.0)
  • Secure Socket Layer Version 3.0 (SSL 3.0)
  • Secure Socket Layer Versions 2.0 (SSL 2.0)


IPsec is designed to provide interoperable,

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