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Secure Your Web Server With SSL


To succeed with eCommerce on the web, your site should provide visitors with SSL security. In this article, Tim will describe how to create a request for an SSL digital certificate. He will also describe how to install the certificate once it is received.

Author Info:
By: Tim Pabst
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 19
December 01, 2001
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Secure Your Web Server With SSL
  2. · Creating the certificate request
  3. · Submitting and installing your certificate request
  4. · Making sure the SSL certificate works
  5. · Conclusion

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Secure Your Web Server With SSL - Creating the certificate request
(Page 2 of 5 )

To create our certificate request, we will use the certificate wizard built into Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5. Start by loading the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Click on Start -> Administrative Tools -> Internet Service Manager.

The IIS Snap-In running inside MMC

Next, right click on the site node that requires SSL security (this will be the “Default Web Site” most of the time), and click the properties menu item. Select the “Directory Security” tab and then click on the “Server Certificate…” button. This will load the certificate wizard, as shown below:

The web server certificate wizard

Click on the next button to continue. Choose the “Create a new certificate” option and click on the next button again. Select the “Prepare the request now, but send it later” option and click next.

You will now be asked to enter a name and select the bit-length of your certificate. The name of the certificate can be anything you like, but should be easy to remember (“devArticles.com SSL key”, for example). The bit-length should be 1024. Leave the SGC certificate option un-checked and click on next.

Over the next three steps, you will need to enter the details of your company and its location. You should make sure these are exact, as described below:
  • Organization Name: The full, registered name of your company as it appears on any legal documents or letterheads, such as Company XYZ Pty. Ltd.
  • Organizational Unit: The section of your company that is requesting the certificate. This should usually be something like “eCommerce”, “web development”, or “research”, etc.
  • Common Name: The fully qualified domain name of your web server, such as mysite.com, company-xyz.com or someurl.com.au. Do not prefix the command name with www.
  • Country/Region: The two-letter ISO abbreviation of the country in which the web server requesting the certificate is located.
  • State/Province: The state/province in which the web server requesting the certificate is located.
  • City/Locality: The city/locality in which the web server requesting the certificate is located.


Once you have entered all of your company’s details, you will need to enter the filename where the wizard will export the details of the certificate to. The default filename, c:\certreq.txt is fine. Click on next to confirm the details of your certificate and then click next again. Your certificate has been generated and exported to c:\certreq.txt (or whatever filename you entered in the last step).

The certificate wizard confirmation screen

Click on the finish button. To make sure your certificate was generated successfully, use notepad to open c:\certreq.txt. It should look something like this:

-----BEGIN NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

MIIDDDCCAnUCAQAwdzEPMA0GA1UEAxMGc2VydmVyMRIwEAYDVQQLEwllQ29tbWVy

Y2UxGDAWBgNVBAoTD2RldkFydGljbGVzLmNvbTEPMA0GA1UEBxMGU3lkbmV5MRgw

FgYDVQQIEw9OZXcgU291dGggV2FsZXMxCzAJBgNVBAYTAkFVMIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3

DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQCpCEsLVsA3cKpUfZ/FE4GDaPoRfIuxPJC7JHDblgSU

4SM/N0WSpsmJqC3SdWdVSyCps4mGSJM7jOO5a8qfUyDxvz0o7WUz5xdohkQeILwU

m6QNQUMNE9/Oya+XVZweJKfPr2srAEJTnfetsvFA0/rmLUC6Fam4RRjfUj6kEMWH

4QIDAQABoIIBUzAaBgorBgEEAYI3DQIDMQwWCjUuMC4yMTk1LjIwNQYKKwYBBAGC

NwIBDjEnMCUwDgYDVR0PAQH/BAQDAgTwMBMGA1UdJQQMMAoGCCsGAQUFBwMBMIH9

BgorBgEEAYI3DQICMYHuMIHrAgEBHloATQBpAGMAcgBvAHMAbwBmAHQAIABSAFMA

QQAgAFMAQwBoAGEAbgBuAGUAbAAgAEMAcgB5AHAAdABvAGcAcgBhAHAAaABpAGMA

IABQAHIAbwB2AGkAZABlAHIDgYkA0jwwllPCwtmzxrLJ/2/rpGCvHrqzYzASmxr2

ltdVP4OJogQKKcWQz5vkwdEPmEY23Ivam+3jSC5oZ6+I54thine5YzNLyHZ5lZK1

1nalKu/dN6hbwBhBemxUoi4NpIFfdw6MIxm1bmlcLFxaI4jtJ7UDIg+pMMiMraSA

o4zAaBMAAAAAAAAAADANBgkqhkiG9w0BAQUFAAOBgQCHOMrQkqjOTQsgI435mjc1

7SDFh++vQmG+VgYal6x8mBLoRwHHqBngJU/SpX41bziA9nKQ/5lD9nFGZqJt6mjU

gkTDcwlBxzctuzrwdN6/7+1dgobpYi8VbaJfQvOrHH+UBFaDgDjBErOBBPLNTiti

3zH4768KUxi5Lf3ALywtZw==

-----END NEW CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

We will now submit our certificate request to Verisign.
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