In today’s generation the internet is not just a mode to browse through information, but it is also helpful to share vital information. Institutions like a bank, government offices, and various other vital institutions have to share information faraway through the internet as well. Hence it is necessary to keep this mode of communication safe and secure. It helps to keep the transferred information safe and avoid it getting hacked by the eye-preying people on the particular website.
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) helps to transfer data securely between the web browser and a website. Hence pages involving logging of personal information like email id and password, credit or debit card details, needs to be secured to avoid getting it hacked. In such cases, HTTPS is much more secure than HTTP. It helps to encrypt information and keep one safe and secure.
What is Port 443?
A port is a virtual numbered address that helps to build communication UDP and TCP. The port helps to make the devices understand the request. Port 80 helps to handle all the unencrypted HTTP traffic. The information transferred securely through the TLS certificate requires port 443. If a site uses HTTPS but is unavailable over port 443 then port 80 helps to load the HTTPS-enabled website.
Operation of HTTPS
HTTPS helps to keep confidential information safe and secure. For instance, email id login pages, filling up bank details, and various such pages work through port 443 for the complete safety of the visitor. The encrypted information is not read by an attacker as it passes through an encryption algorithm. It generates a ciphertext to pass it to the server. If the attacker intercepts the HTTPS data the information is garbled up which makes it unreadable. A TLS connection works on port 443. A client can upgrade their unencrypted information to encrypted one by sending a STARTTLS request.
Steps to Upgrade a Connection with the Help of STARTTLS:
- The initial stage begins by exchanging a HELLO between the client browser and the webserver.
- Once the communication between the client and the server begins the encryption standards are agreed upon by both, then the server shares its certificate.
- The client has access now to the public key with the help of this certification provided by the server. The public key helps in the verification of the validity of the server for the generation of a pre-master key. The next step involves encryption of the pre-master key with the public key and is shared with the server.
- The pre-master key helps to independently compute both sides of the symmetric key.
- The cipher spec message is sent by both sides to show their symmetric key calculations. The bulk data transmission uses symmetric encryption.
Needs and Requirements of Port 443
The basic and vital function of Port 443 involves encryption of data shared between the client and the server. This helps to maintain the level of privacy and protect all sensitive information. A website using a TLS certificate for the client’s safety indicates a lock beside the address. Though the lock indicates safe communication it doesn’t ensure that it won’t be hacked by a hacker. Data can also be compromised due to various vulnerabilities present. An injection attack against the website can lead to malware injection.
Though HTTPS ensures one about the data encryption with the help of a TLS certificate one should also be acquainted with the fact that the protection provided does not seep into the deep layers. The additional information added to the network might not be included in the layer protected by HTTPS. A TCP request via port 443 is sent to make an HTTPS connection. Though the messages exchanged between the client and the server are encrypted it doesn’t ensure protection from fingerprinting attacks. The attacker can gain access to personal information shared like:
- IP Address and location of the user
- Message size
- Website to which connection is made
- Frequency of the connection performed
Though you are a website owner or a site visitor, the communication carried through an unencrypted medium can reveal all the personal information and create a serious threat for you. Though complete safety is not provided by HTTPS using port 443 it is a healthy option to browse the web and share sensitive information. There are various Certificate Authorities (CA) that can issue you digital certificates according to the number of domains you wish to secure. To keep your browsing experience safe and secure google has initiated a step to rank a website with the help of HTTPS for its search algorithms. This cautions the website owners must have an SSL or TLS certificate.