Chapter 12: Managing Certificates

Certificates, as part of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), have several practical uses:

  • They can be used to encrypt network traffic.
  • They can be used to sign in.
  • They can be used to sign code.
  • They can be used to encrypt files and folders.

Certificates are based on cryptographic public keys and private keys. This key pair is generated upon the creation of a certificate by a Certification Authority (CA). When used to encrypt data, files, and folders, only with the right private key can data be decrypted that was encrypted with a given public key, and vice versa. When used to sign in, only the right key can be used to verify the identity.

Every certificate has a subject and a lifespan. A typical lifespan is ...

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