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A Brief History of SSL

SSL was originally developed as a strategic business move by Netscape Communications, now a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner. Netscape wanted to gain a competitive advantage through the use of security. Netscape was in the midst of partnering to open up an online shopping mall and portal site. The use of SSL would give Netscape an advantage over other e-commerce sites that were not cryptographically enabled.

The first version of SSL was 1.0, but the protocol was not publicly released until version 2.0, which shipped with Netscape Navigator 1 and 2. Of course, a Web browser by itself cannot set up an SSL connection. A computer must be at the other end as well. Netscape also integrated SSL support into its Web servers so that the browser and server together could set up the secure SSL tunnel. At the time, Netscape had the market covered because it was the only one with both SSL-enabled browsers and servers.


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