Certificate-based authentication

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Certificate-based authentication

is a way of verifying the identity of a user or a server based on public key cryptography.

  • uses a public and a private key (files)
  • public key – can be shared with anyone (ex: browser client)
  • private key – is kept secret by the owner (ex: web site)
  • similar to electronic passports (they have a private key)
  • the owner can use the private key to sign a message
  • anyone who has the public key can verify that the message was signed by the owner
  • authentication certificates are issued by trusted authorities (certificate authorities (CAs))
  • CAs verify the owner’s information, name, certificate details, criminal records, taxes, domain, IP
  • It is common to use with TLS/SSL protocol (HTTPS)
  • SSL uses digital signatures to establish a trust relationship between the sender and receiver

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