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What is a .pem or .der?
Authored by: sharumpe on Jan 24, '03 01:50:21PM

I think the big confusion here is that this may not be a "general user" hint. If you don't know what a .pem file is, you probably haven't come across the problem that this hint is meant to solve.

.pem and .der files are two ways of storing SSL certificates. Most people are viewing sites that use an SSL certificate signed by Verisign or another major vendor. The case where this comes in handy is when you are using self-signed certificates, meaning that you generated them yourself or in conjunction with an unofficial source.

For example, my employer uses self-signed certificates for internal projects and sites that do not do monetary transactions. We use it for securing logins and encrypting some other sensitive data. These certificates are using our own "certificate authority (or CA)", so any time I want to view one of those pages, I have to do to the debug menu bit. Annoying.

This hint allowed me to put our CA certificate (the one that has signed all of the other certificates) into the keychain, so now Safari inherently recognizes these certificates.

I don't know if that helped, but I hope so.

Mr. Sharumpe



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