How to create a self-signed SSL Certificate

How to create a self-signed SSL Certificate

Overview

The following is an extremely simplified view of how SSL is implemented and what part the certificate plays in the entire process.

Normal web traffic is sent unencrypted over the Internet. That is, anyone with access to the right tools can snoop all of that traffic. Obviously, this can lead to problems, especially where security and privacy is necessary, such as in credit card data and bank transactions. The Secure Socket Layer is used to encrypt the data stream between the web server and the web client (the browser).

SSL makes use of what is known as asymmetric cryptography, commonly referred to as public key cryptography (PKI). With public key cryptography, two keys are created, one public, one private. Anything encrypted with either key can only be decrypted with its corresponding key. Thus if a message or data stream were encrypted with the server’s private key, it can be decrypted only using its corresponding public key, ensuring that the data only could have come from the server.

If SSL utilizes public key cryptography to encrypt the data stream traveling over the Internet, why is a certificate necessary? The technical answer to that question is that a certificate is not really necessarythe data is secure and cannot easily be decrypted by a third party. However, certificates do serve a crucial role in the communication process. The certificate, signed by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA), ensures that the certificate holder is really who he claims to be. Without a trusted signed certificate, your data may be encrypted, however, the party you are communicating with may not be whom you think. Without certificates, impersonation attacks would be much more common.

Continue reading “How to create a self-signed SSL Certificate”

How To Install Solr on Ubuntu 14.04

How To Install Solr on Ubuntu 14.04

Introduction

Solr is a search engine platform based on Apache Lucene. It is written in Java and uses the Lucene library to implement indexing. It can be accessed using a variety of REST APIs (e.g. XML and JSON). This is the feature list from their website:

Continue reading “How To Install Solr on Ubuntu 14.04”