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Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd Edition by Michael W. Lucas

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Public Key Encryption

Many server daemons rely upon public key encryption to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of communications. Many different Internet services also use public key encryption. You need a basic grasp of public key encryption to run services like secure websites (https) and securePOP3 mail (pop3ssl). If you're already familiar with public key encryption, you can probably skip this section. If not, prepare for a highly compressed introduction to the topic.

Encryption systems use a key to transform messages between readable (cleartext) and encoded (ciphertext) versions. Although the words cleartext and ciphertext include the word text, they aren't restricted to text; they can also include graphics files, binaries, ...

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