One-way TLS

One-way TLS and Authentication

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Ronald Koster

When using mutual TLS (mTLS), the client authenticates the server by checking whether the server’s certificate is signed with a trusted CA certificate, i.e. a certificate that exists in its trust store. And vice versa, the server authenticates the client by checking the client’s certificate against its truststore. Both authentications are done at TLS level. Mutual TLS thus requires truststores and keystores on both the client and server side. One-way TLS only requires a keystore on the server side, and a truststore on the client side. So one-way TLS requires a simpler client setup, because it does not need a client specific keystore. But how does authentication work with own-way TLS. Specifically, how does one protect againts a man-in-the-middle attack?

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