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http to https

by jabberwocky12 / September 27, 2010 2:12 PM PDT

(I'm not a web developer, so my knowledge in this area is very limited).

I'm doing some non-web work for a company, but, to access resources, they require me to log in using a username and password. The URL, though, begins with "http" and not "https" When I queried this, they told me that their http address _does_ use secure logins, it just doesn't show the "s" in the URL.

So, two questions:
1. Why would anyone want to do this?
2. Is there anyway that I, as a normal user, can confirm this? (i.e. that I'm sending confidential information through some sort of SSL?).

Thanks

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I'd be highly skeptical...
by John.Wilkinson / September 27, 2010 9:59 PM PDT
In reply to: http to https

You can look for the stalwart lock icon in the address or status bar of your browser, as well as other visual queues, such as a partially- or fully-colored address bar, to determine if the site is secure. Clicking the icon presents detailed security information in most browsers.

However, there is no reason to use http over https for a secure website, and such is typically not supported. I would wonder if they are actually using a standard SSL/TLS implementation or if they're using a homegrown method of encryption, or none at all.

See what, if any, security your browser reports, but I doubt the secure site is properly configured.

John

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If you are using a browser
by Sovereign Forum moderator / September 28, 2010 3:39 AM PDT

and it's not HTTPS, then the data transmission is not secure.

It may be secure using one of their methods once the data gets there, but that's a different story.

~Sovereign

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A little more info
by jabberwocky12 / September 28, 2010 1:52 PM PDT

Thanks for the replies. I'm not sure if this is the case in this instance, but I have found that some people do re-directs. See:
http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/howto-apache-force-https-secure-connections.html

What would the user see if this coding were active? If I clicked on a link to the http site, would it re-direct at that stage to the https site, or would it go to the http site, wait for me to enter my data, and then transmit my data securely through https?

Thanks

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It would redirect first...
by John.Wilkinson / September 28, 2010 2:48 PM PDT
In reply to: A little more info

It would redirect you to the secure page before prompting for any personal data. Redirecting after collecting the data before redirecting to the secure site is like hiring an armored transport vehicle but having your local barber transport your valuables to the armored transport...it defeats the purpose.

John

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Nice analogy
by jabberwocky12 / September 28, 2010 3:31 PM PDT

Thanks for that analogy, John; I think I'll borrow that, if you don't mind :-).

Ken

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