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Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a security protocol that was widely used to encrypt internet traffic and to secure the communication between clients and servers. SSL is the predecessor to Transport Layer Security (TLS), and the two protocols are often referred to interchangeably.

SSL works by establishing an encrypted connection between the client and the server and exchanging a series of messages to verify the identity of the server and to establish the encryption keys that will be used to secure the communication. SSL uses public key cryptography to establish the encryption keys and to verify the server’s identity.

To use SSL, a website must obtain and install an SSL certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA). The certificate contains the website’s public key and a digital signature that verifies the website’s identity. When a client (such as a web browser) connects to the website, it establishes an encrypted connection using the website’s public key and exchanges a series of messages to verify the website’s identity.

SSL is commonly used to protect sensitive internet communication, such as online banking, shopping, and accessing personal information. It is indicated by the “https://” prefix in the URL of a website and by a padlock icon in the web browser. Many web browsers also display a green padlock icon to indicate that a website is using an extended validation (EV) SSL certificate, which provides additional security and trust.

Although SSL is no longer widely used, it is still supported by many web browsers and servers and is used by some older websites. Most modern websites now use TLS, which is a more secure and efficient version of SSL.

Using SSL to obfuscate VPN traffic

When SSL is used to encrypt VPN traffic, the VPN connection looks like a regular HTTPS connection to network administrators and third parties. Since HTTPS is a widely-used protocol, this makes it more difficult for them to identify and block VPN connections.

Additionally, SSL encryption provides an extra layer of security for VPN traffic, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept and decipher the data being transmitted. This helps to protect users’ online privacy and security.