Tip 10 Secure Web server

Electronic commerce is becoming very popular on the Internet. Companies will often pay thousands of dollars for commercial packages to deliver secure content to customers on the Web. You can setup one of the most popular Web servers, Apache, running on Linux and serving secure content, for free.

To setup Apache to deliver secure content, you will need to get a cryptographic package called OpenSSL, based on the SSLeay library. The place to start is at http://www.apache-ssl.org. From there, you can download the needed patches to make Apache into a secure web server.

Detailed instructions are available in the packages, but here is a quick step-by-step guide:

• First, you need to download 3 packages: Apache itself, the corresponding Apache-SSL patch and OpenSSL.

• Then you need to patch the Apache distribution and compile the SSL library.

• After editing the configuration file in the Apache directory, and setting the right paths and libraries to use, you can compile Apache and then create a test certificate.

• All you have to do now is install Apache and configure it to use your test certificate.

Note that while Apache and the SSLeay libray are free, you may need to pay to get signed certificates from commercial companies. Also, due to export laws in various countries, you may want to check your local laws before using any encrypting product.

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