How Does SSL Protect Against IP Spoofing?

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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a web security technology that allows users to communicate securely with web servers by encrypting the data that is sent to and from the web server they are accessing. You can tell that a website is using SSL if the beginning of the URL is "https" instead of the standard "http." An SSL-protected site has advantages over a site without SSL protection, and it is routinely used for things like online shopping, where private or sensitive information is being transmitted between a customer and the store, such as credit card numbers. It is also useful to prevent malicious entities from spoofing a website through IP spoofing or other means.

Overview

  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a web security technology that allows users to communicate securely with web servers by encrypting the data that is sent to and from the web server they are accessing. You can tell that a website is using SSL if the beginning of the URL is "https" instead of the standard "http." An SSL-protected site has advantages over a site without SSL protection, and it is routinely used for things like online shopping, where private or sensitive information is being transmitted between a customer and the store, such as credit card numbers. It is also useful to prevent malicious entities from spoofing a website through IP spoofing or other means.

Establishing a Connection

  • When a browser accesses an SSL-protected website, the browser automatically sends a request to the server, asking for the SSL Public Key. The browser processes this Public Key and sends a reply back to the server, which then compares this result to an SSL Hidden Key on the server. As long as these values match, then the web browser allows the user to continue to access the website without warning. This connection procedure is called a "handshake" and happens nearly instantly whenever a website is accessed. It is totally invisible to the user.

IP-Based Spoofing Protection

  • An SSL certificate is specific to the particular domain for which it was created, regardless of the IP address of that domain. So, if a malicious entity were to attempt to redirect traffic for a certain website to their own malicious site through IP spoofing techniques, the fake site would not have an SSL certificate that was accurately registered to the real website. This can be verified through a browser by viewing the certificate information, and if the wrong web address is shown, then the user will know that they are not on the site they think they are on. This prevents attackers from using IP spoofing to redirect users to another site without their knowledge, even if that other site also has SSL enabled.

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