Transport Layer Security (TLS), Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), are cryptographic protocols which are designed to provide communication security over the Internet. They use X.509 certificates and hence asymmetric cryptography to assure the counterparty with whom they are communicating, and to exchange a symmetric key. This session key is then used to encrypt data flowing between the parties. This allows for data/message confidentiality, and message authentication codes for message integrity and as a by-product, message authentication. Several versions of the protocols are in widespread use in applications such as web browsing, electronic mail, Internet faxing, instant messaging, and voice-over-IP (VoIP). An important property in this context is forward secrecy, so the short term session key cannot be derived from the long term asymmetric secret key.
In the TCP/IP model view, TLS and SSL encrypt the data of network connections at a lower sublayer of its application layer. In OSI model equivalences, TLS/SSL is initialized at layer 5 (the session layer) then works at layer 6 (the presentation layer): first the session layer has a handshake using an asymmetric cipher in order to establish cipher settings and a shared key for that session; then the presentation layer encrypts the rest of the communication using a symmetric cipher and that session key. In both models, TLS and SSL work on behalf of the underlying transport layer, whose segments carry encrypted data.
The TLS protocol allows client-server applications to communicate across a network in a way designed to prevent eavesdropping and tampering.
In applications design, TLS is usually implemented on top of any of the Transport Layer protocols, encapsulating the application-specific protocols such as HTTP, FTP, SMTP, NNTP and XMPP. Historically it has been used primarily with reliable transport protocols such as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). However, it has also been implemented with datagram-oriented transport protocols, such as the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP), usage which has been standardized independently using the term Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS).