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Apache is a freely available Unix based web server. It is currently the most commonly used server on Internet connected sites. Its genesis was in early 1995 when developers of some high visibility web sites decided to pool their patches and enhancements to the NCSA/1.3 server to create A patchy server. The project has since gained considerable momentum.

Asymmetric Cryptography:

A synonym for public key cryptography

Ben Laurie:

One of the Apache developers and the person responsible for the original extensions to provide https capability for Apache. These extensions use SSLeay and are distributed independently of the Apache server from sites outside of North America and so fall outside of the US Government's export regulations, and the US RSA patent.

Block Cipher:

An encryption scheme in which the data is divided into fixed-size blocks (often 64 bits), each of which is encrypted independently of the others. Complete independence of blocks is cryptographically undesirable, so usually a block cipher will be used in a chaining or feedback mode in which the output from one block affects the way the next is encrypted.


CAST is a symmetric key block cipher.


A token which underpins the principle of trust in ssl-encrypted transactions. The information within a certificate includes the issuer (the Certificate Authority that issued the certificate), the organisation that owns the certificate, public key, the validity period (usually one year) of the certificate, and the hostname that the certificate was issued in respect of. It is digitally signed by the certification authority so that none of the details can be changed without invalidating the signature.

Certification Authority:

A third party organisation which is used to confirm the relationship between a party to the https transaction and that party's public key. Certification authorities may be widely known and trusted institutions for internet based transactions, though where https is used on companies internal networks, an internal department within the company may fulfill this role.


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