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J2EE™ Security for Servlets, EJBs and Web Services: Applying Theory and Standards to Practice by Pankaj Kumar

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Digital Certificates

Digital certificates, also known as public key certificates or most often just X.509 certificates[2], named after the standard defining the syntax and semantics of underlying data, are the most basic building blocks of PKI. Certificates are digital documents, essentially a stream of bytes, binding a public key with the identity of the corresponding private key owner and is signed by a trusted entity and known as Certification Authority or just CA. The owner of the private key is known as the subject and the signing entity as the issuer. Both of these entities have their own identity and are sometimes referred to as principals.

[2] Strictly speaking, a X.509 certificate is just a specific type of public key certificate, defined ...

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