Last Updated on December 3, 2023
Let’s Encrypt: How It Works?
Let’s Encrypt is a certified authority that works for the benefit of the public. It is a free, automated, and open certificate authority. Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) establish and enlighten this service. It provides free HTTPS digital certificates to the users for the websites.
They started this free service for creating a more secure and private network on the digital platform. The certificates will provide encryption and privacy of communication between the web server and the users. Until now Let’s Encrypt is regarded as the world’s largest HTTPS Certificate authority (CA).
Almost all the websites are getting secure by taking encryption certificates from Let’s Encrypt.
Let’s Encrypt Key Principles
– The business owner with his/her own domain name can use Let’s Encrypt without paying anything or at zero cost. The business owner can use free membership of Let’s Encrypt and obtain all the trusted certificates and provide privacy as well.
– The web server software running with Let’s Encrypt will secure the information and automatically renew itself.
– Let’s Encrypt provide advanced security to the websites and give the best TLS security services by coordinating with both CA and site operators.
– All the issued certificates will be recorded publicly and anyone can inspect those certificates.
– The issuance of the certificate and renewal will be published as an open standard.
– Let’s Encrypt is very cooperative with their customers. They start to give benefits to the community and every people who cannot buy high-cost plans for securing their data.
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The organization that identifies the entity and issues digital certificate is called a Certificate Authority. This will certify the ownership of the certificate as well as the public key. The CA allows the signature of the private key owner if any relying party corresponds to this as a public key.
The CA plays as a third party role on which owner of the certificate and party relying on the certificate is dependent and trusted. The SSL certificates are publicly accepted and trusted by many web browsers issued by CA. Let’s Encrypt provide their customers with CA processes and services at zero cost. It gives CA free services by relying on funds and donations to the necessary infrastructures.
HOW Let’s Encrypt WORKS?
The main aim and objective of Let’s Encrypt are to set up the HTTPS server which can work automatically and will be a browser-trusted certificate for all. In the process of Let’s Encrypt, there are 2 steps which need to be followed –
1. The agent who wants the certificate needs to proves that he/she owns a domain name.
2. After that agent can request for the certificate, renew and revoke for the particular domain.
The server administrator is identified in Let’s Encrypt by a public key. The agent who first time comes in Let’s Encrypt and wants a certificate for security has to generate a new pair of keys as well as proves to the CA that the servers own one or more domains.
This is not a new process and similar to the normal CA process which is used in creating accounts and the addition of domain to that particular account. For proving the security of Let’s Encrypt the CA will identify and look at the domain name and issue some sets of challenges. This is just one way and apart from this, there can be different ways through which CA can prove the privacy and security to the agent.
The Let’s Encrypt CA will let the agent sign the pair of its private keys. This will also prove the agent that the control of the keys is in his/her own hand. The next task is to provide a proper path of using Let’s Encrypt to the agent. Once the agent signs nonce with its private key, the CA notifies the agent and ready to complete the validation. The challenges should satisfy the agent and this is the job of the CA.
Once the validation completed, the CA will download the Let’s Encrypt file in the web browser and make sure that the content of the web browser is good and perfect. Then at last the key pairs will be authorized to the agent or owner of the particular website.
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Certificate issuance and Revocation
The requesting, renewing, and revoking of the certificate becomes easy once the key pairs are authorized to the agent. The company needs to just send the certificate management messages to the agent and let the agent sign that particular message with the authorized key pairs.
The agent will construct a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) so he/she can obtain a particular domain certificate. The CSR is for asking the CA of Let’s Encrypt to issue the certificate for the website with the specified public key. The CSR includes the signature of the agent which confirms the Let’s Encrypt CA that the key pair is authorized.
What kind of support Let’s Encrypt offer?
There is not a very team circle who runs and handles Let’s Encrypt. It is run by a small team and tries to keep costs low always. They do not provide direct support to their customers but give various options for providing support. The documentation facility and strong as well as active community support forums that help the customers to all the way.
It is not only that Let’s Encrypt provides services only for SSL/TLS servers. You can use them for any server that owns a domain name. Let’s Encrypt does not issue certification for Email encryption and code signing. Let’s Encrypt will never keep any private keys with them. It will always be generated in front of the agent and give both pairs keys to the agent only.
Let’s Encrypt is a great option for all those business and website owners who are not having a budget for their web server’s information security and privacy. It gives free services to those who need it and for whom it is necessary. This will keep all the data, information, and overall the full website secure and encrypted.