The SSL Change Cipher Spec Protocol is part of the Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. A cipher is an encryption method, and the Change Cipher Spec defines the details of the encryption system to be used in the session.
The Change Cipher Spec protocol is a subprotocol of SSL. It is one of three stages of establishing a session. These handshaking procedures are used to establish a session or to resume a suspended session.
The first handshaking subprotocol is "Handshake." The second subprotocol is the Change Cipher Spec protocol. Based on the information passed in the handshaking phase, one of the two sides sends a Change Cipher Spec message to indicate that a new key should be used for the remainder of the session. The remaining subprotocol is the Alert protocol.
SSL has been replaced by the Transport Layer Security, or TLS, protocol. TLS uses the same method of Change Cypher Spec. SSL is a generic term for both SSL and TLS. Although people still use the term SSL, the technology they are talking about is TLS.
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