Secure Alarming over HTTPS

AlarmTraq is capable of receiving alarms over secure HTTPS. Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a combination of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol with the SSL/TLS protocol to provide encrypted communication and secure identification of a network web server.

HTTPS connections are often used for payment transactions on the World Wide Web and for sensitive transactions in corporate information systems. The main idea of HTTPS is to create a secure channel over an insecure network. This ensures reasonable protection from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks, provided that adequate cipher suites are used and that the server certificate is verified and trusted.

As opposed to HTTP URLs that begin with "http://" and use port 80 by default, HTTPS URLs begin with "https://" and use port 443 by default.

Network layers

HTTP operates at the highest layer of the OSI Model, the Application layer; but the security protocol operates at a lower sublayer, encrypting an HTTP message prior to transmission and decrypting a message upon arrival. Strictly speaking, HTTPS is not a separate protocol, but refers to use of ordinary HTTP over an encrypted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection.

Everything in the HTTP message is encrypted, including the headers, and the request/response load. With the exception of the possible CCA cryptographic attack described in limitations section below, the attacker can only know the fact that a connection is taking place between the two parties, already known to him, the domain name and IP addresses.

Server setup

To prepare a web server to accept HTTPS connections, the administrator must create a public key certificate for the web server. This certificate must be signed by a trusted certificate authority for AlarmTraq to accept it. The authority certifies that the certificate holder is indeed the entity it claims to be.