Introduction

This book examines the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols in detail, taking a bottom-up approach. SSL/TLS is a standardized, widely implemented, peer-reviewed protocol for applying cryptographic primitives to arbitrary networked communications. It provides privacy, integrity, and some measure of authenticity to otherwise inherently untrustworthy network connections. Rather than just present the details of the protocol itself, this book develops, incrementally, a relatively complete SSL/TLS library. First, all of the relevant cryptographic protocols are examined and developed, and then the library itself is built piece by piece.

All of the code developed in this book is C (not C++) code. It's been tested on both Windows and Linux systems and should run as advertised on either. Although this is a code-heavy book, non-C programmers — or even non-programmers in general — will still be able to get quite a bit from it. All of the protocols and examples are presented in general form as well as in source code form so that if you're interested in a higher-level overview, you can skip the code examples and the book should still make sense.

I chose C instead of C++ (or Java or Python or Perl, and so on) as a good "least-common-denominator" language. If you can program in any other procedural language, you can program in C; and if you can understand an implementation in C, you can understand an implementation in any other language. This book ...

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