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Windows Server® 2008 PKI and Certificate Security by Brian Komar

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Chapter 2. Primer to PKI

This chapter provides an introduction to the building blocks of a public key infrastructure (PKI). This includes:

Certificates

Certificates provide the foundation of a public key infrastructure (PKI). Certificates are electronic representations of users, computers, network devices, or services, issued by a certification authority (CA), that are associated with a public and private key pair.

A certificate is a digitally signed collection of information generally 2–4 kilobytes (KB) in size. A certificate typically includes the following information:

  • Information about the user, computer, or network device that holds the private key corresponding to the issued certificate. ...

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