Book Image

Demystifying Cryptography with OpenSSL 3.0

By : Alexei Khlebnikov
Book Image

Demystifying Cryptography with OpenSSL 3.0

By: Alexei Khlebnikov

Overview of this book

Security and networking are essential features of software today. The modern internet is full of worms, Trojan horses, men-in-the-middle, and other threats. This is why maintaining security is more important than ever. OpenSSL is one of the most widely used and essential open source projects on the internet for this purpose. If you are a software developer, system administrator, network security engineer, or DevOps specialist, you’ve probably stumbled upon this toolset in the past – but how do you make the most out of it? With the help of this book, you will learn the most important features of OpenSSL, and gain insight into its full potential. This book contains step-by-step explanations of essential cryptography and network security concepts, as well as practical examples illustrating the usage of those concepts. You’ll start by learning the basics, such as how to perform symmetric encryption and calculate message digests. Next, you will discover more about cryptography: MAC and HMAC, public and private keys, and digital signatures. As you progress, you will explore best practices for using X.509 certificates, public key infrastructure, and TLS connections. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to use the most popular features of OpenSSL, allowing you to implement cryptography and TLS in your applications and network infrastructure.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Symmetric Cryptography
Part 3: Asymmetric Cryptography and Certificates
Part 4: TLS Connections and Secure Communication
Part 5: Running a Mini-CA

The history of OpenSSL

The OpenSSL library is based on the SSLeay library by Eric Andrew Young. The eay in SSLeay stands for Eric Andrew Young. SSLeay’s development started in 1995 as an open source implementation of the SSL library. Back then, the NSS library was not available. Later, Tim Hudson joined the development team. But in 1998, both Eric and Tim were hired by the RSA Corporation and did not have time to develop SSLeay further.

SSLeay was forked as OpenSSL in 1998, which means that OpenSSL has become SSLeay’s successor. The initial founding members were Mark Cox, Ralf Engelschall, Stephen Henson, Ben Laurie, and Paul Sutton. The very first version of OpenSSL, numbered 0.9.1, was released on December 23, 1998, merely a week after Eric and Tim joined the RSA Corporation and effectively stopped working on SSLeay.

Over many years, a lot of people and companies contributed a lot of code and other work to OpenSSL. The list of contributing companies is impressive: Oracle, Siemens, Akamai, Red Hat, IBM, VMware, Intel, and Arm, among others.

Currently, OpenSSL development is managed by the OpenSSL Management Committee, which consists of seven members. The core development team, which has commit rights, consists of approximately 20 people. Only two people work full-time on OpenSSL. The other contributors either do so in their spare time or as a part of their work in the contributing companies.

The history of OpenSSL is interesting, but what does the future hold for it? Let’s find out about the latest changes in the toolkit.