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Basic Security question

Megha Roy
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 13
Hi,
I have some doubt regarding security. Some people says that we need to obtain a digital certificate to start e-business. With my understanding with Digital certificate it mainly encrypts and decrypts the information. Is it not possible to code our self and create digital certificate using JAVA API. If it is then how to proceed from there on. Once digital certificate is create how to enable to web server.
Thanks . I will appreciate your help. IF there is any website which clear my doubts please provide me the link
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Digital certificates are used for more than secure data transfer. They are also a trust mechanism. Yes, you can create a certificate yourself for test purposes, but if you tried to pass that to somone, they'd only have your word that it was trustworthy, and they'd only have your word that you are who you say you are. You can't run a business like this. If you signed your certificate saying you were Micrsoft 'and you can trust me on that', would you expect anyone to believe you?
A digital certificate gets created and signed by a trusted source. They require you to give them personal or business information so they can authenticate you before they will use their person certificate to sign yours. This generates a trust hierarchy. You can then use your trusted certificate to sign others, eg if you have requirements for multiple certificates in your company, like certificate authentication.
There is also a bunch of other stuff, but this is the basis of why you go to another company for a certificate for use in e-business.
Megha Roy
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 12, 2003
Posts: 13
Hi,
I have one more doubt. After we buy digital certificate how to enable that to our webserver. Is there any tutorial which explains the whole function.
Thanks
Pankaj Kr
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 80
There are many online tutorials.
For Apache Tomcat:
http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat/tomcat-4.1-doc/ssl-howto.html
For Apache HTTP Server:
http://httpd.apache.org/docs-2.0/ssl/
But I would recommend to start with a good book and then look at product specific manuals.
At cost of sounding promotional, I will recommend my own book on this topic that explains digital certificates and how to use them with Java based Web Servers quite nicely.


Pankaj Kumar
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subject: Basic Security question