Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

A public-key infrastructure (PKI) is a set of roles, policies, hardware, software and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption. The algorithms are based on Publick-key cryptography. The format of the digital certificate is defined in X.509 standard.  Certificate Authority – CA digitally signs and publishes … Read morePublic Key Infrastructure (PKI)

NTLM and Kerberos protocols

This article explains how two most common authentication mechanisms (NTLM and Kerberos) work. Both authentication protocols are based on symmetric key cryptography. The protocols themselves are platform independent. NTLM Authentication NTLM is the default authentication protocol prior to Windows 2000 and still prevalent today as backup to Kerberos. It is based on challenge/response mechanism. User … Read moreNTLM and Kerberos protocols

OAuth and OpenID Connect

OAuth 2.0 and OpenID Connect 1.0 are different types of protocols and they are often confused. When we talk about IAM (identity and access management), we should distinguish between AuthZ and AuthN: AutheNtication (AuthN, aka Identity Management) is about validating user’s identity by verifying that the user trying to connect is actually who it claims … Read moreOAuth and OpenID Connect

Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

SAML is an XML-based standard for exchanging authentication and authorization data between IdP (identity provider) and service provider. We can compare SAML with LDAP (as authentication protocol) as both are to provide single-sign-on (SSO) feature. LDAP is considered traditional configuration in on-premise operation for organizations. The configuration can be complex and administrators needs to complete … Read moreSecurity Assertion Markup Language (SAML)

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

Introduction Originally LDAP only refers to the connectivity protocol to the directory server. This term is being used loosely today and it also refers to the actual directory service that supports and complies with LDAP. LDAP v3 is the current version developed in RFC 2251. A directory is information about some set of entities such … Read moreLightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

Cryptography basics 2 of 2

My previous post outlines several core concepts around cryptography, such as asymmetric key encryption, digital certificate, the encoding formats and relevant file extensions. In this article, we continue to explore cryptography use cases, where these concepts are connected and put into application. The most important use case is TLS handshake. I cannot stress enough how … Read moreCryptography basics 2 of 2