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TLS (SSL)Edit

Use require('tls') to access this module.

The tls module uses OpenSSL to provide Transport Layer Security and/or Secure Socket Layer: encrypted stream communication.

TLS/SSL is a public/private key infrastructure. Each client and each server must have a private key. A private key is created like this

openssl genrsa -out ryans-key.pem 1024

All severs and some clients need to have a certificate. Certificates are public keys signed by a Certificate Authority or self-signed. The first step to getting a certificate is to create a "Certificate Signing Request" (CSR) file. This is done with:

openssl req -new -key ryans-key.pem -out ryans-csr.pem

To create a self-signed certificate with the CSR, do this:

openssl x509 -req -in ryans-csr.pem -signkey ryans-key.pem -out ryans-cert.pem

Alternatively you can send the CSR to a Certificate Authority for signing.

(TODO: docs on creating a CA, for now interested users should just look attest/fixtures/keys/Makefile in the Node source code)

s = tls.connect(port, [host], [options], callback)Edit

Creates a new client connection to the given port and host. (If hostdefaults to localhost.) options should be an object which specifies

  • key: A string or Buffer containing the private key of the server in PEM format. (Required)

  • cert: A string or Buffer containing the certificate key of the server in PEM format.

  • ca: An array of strings or Buffers of trusted certificates. If this is omitted several well known "root" CAs will be used, like VeriSign. These are used to authorize connections.


tls.connect() returns a cleartext CryptoStream object.

After the TLS/SSL handshake the callback is called. The callback will be called no matter if the server's certificate was authorized or not. It is up to the user to test s.authorized to see if the server certificate was signed by one of the specified CAs. If s.authorized === false then the error can be found ins.authorizationError.

STARTTLSEdit

In the v0.4 branch no function exists for starting a TLS session on an already existing TCP connection. This is possible it just requires a bit of work. The technique is to use tls.createSecurePair() which returns two streams: an encrypted stream and a plaintext stream. The encrypted stream is then piped to the socket, the plaintext stream is what the user interacts with thereafter.

Here is some code that does it.

tls.ServerEdit

This class is a subclass of net.Server and has the same methods on it. Instead of accepting just raw TCP connections, this accepts encrypted connections using TLS or SSL.

Here is a simple example echo server:

var tls = require('tls');
var fs = require('fs');

var options = {
  key: fs.readFileSync('server-key.pem'),
  cert: fs.readFileSync('server-cert.pem')
};

tls.createServer(options, function (s) {
  s.write("welcome!\n");
  s.pipe(s);
}).listen(8000);

You can test this server by connecting to it with openssl s_client:

openssl s_client -connect 127.0.0.1:8000

tls.createServer(options, secureConnectionListener)Edit

This is a constructor for the tls.Server class. The options object has these possibilities:

  • key: A string or Buffer containing the private key of the server in PEM format. (Required)

  • cert: A string or Buffer containing the certificate key of the server in PEM format. (Required)

  • ca: An array of strings or Buffers of trusted certificates. If this is omitted several well known "root" CAs will be used, like VeriSign. These are used to authorize connections.

  • requestCert: If true the server will request a certificate from clients that connect and attempt to verify that certificate. Default: false.

  • rejectUnauthorized: If true the server will reject any connection which is not authorized with the list of supplied CAs. This option only has an effect if requestCert is true. Default: false.

Event: 'secureConnection'Edit

function (cleartextStream) {}

This event is emitted after a new connection has been successfully handshaked. The argument is a duplex instance of stream.Stream. It has all the common stream methods and events.

cleartextStream.authorized is a boolean value which indicates if the client has verified by one of the supplied certificate authorities for the server. IfcleartextStream.authorized is false, thencleartextStream.authorizationError is set to describe how authorization failed. Implied but worth mentioning: depending on the settings of the TLS server, you unauthorized connections may be accepted.

server.listen(port, [host], [callback])Edit

Begin accepting connections on the specified port and host. If the host is omitted, the server will accept connections directed to any IPv4 address (INADDR_ANY).

This function is asynchronous. The last parameter callback will be called when the server has been bound.

See net.Server for more information.

server.close()Edit

Stops the server from accepting new connections. This function is asynchronous, the server is finally closed when the server emits a 'close'event.

server.maxConnectionsEdit

Set this property to reject connections when the server's connection count gets high.

server.connectionsEdit

The number of concurrent connections on the server.

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