Privacy-enhanced Electronic Mail

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Privacy Enhanced Mail)
Jump to: navigation, search

PEM is a de facto file format for storing and sending cryptography keys, certificates, and other data, based on a set of 1993 IETF standards defining "privacy-enhanced mail." While the original standards were never broadly adopted, and were supplanted by PGP and S/MIME, the textual encoding they defined became very popular. The PEM format was eventually formalized by the IETF in RFC 7468.

Many cryptography standards use ASN.1 to define their data structures, and Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) to serialize those structures.[1] Because DER produces binary output, it can be challenging to transmit the resulting files through systems, like electronic mail, that only support ASCII. The PEM format solves this problem by encoding the binary data using base64. PEM also defines a one-line header, consisting of "-----BEGIN ", a label, and "-----", and a one-line footer, consisting of "-----END ", a label, and "-----". The label determines the type of message encoded. Common labels include "CERTIFICATE", "CERTIFICATE REQUEST", and "PRIVATE KEY".

PEM data is commonly stored in files with a ".pem" suffix, a ".cer" or ".crt" suffix (for certificates), or a ".key" suffix (for public or private keys).[2] The label inside a PEM file represents the type of the data more accurately than the file suffix, since many different types of data can be saved in a ".pem" file.

A PEM file may contain multiple instances. For instance, an operating system might provide a file containing a list of trusted CA certificates, or a web server might be configured with a "chain" file containing an end-entity certificate plus a list of intermediate certificates.

Examples[edit]

A PEM-encoded certificate:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----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-----END CERTIFICATE-----

A PEM-encoded certificate signing request:

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----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-----END CERTIFICATE REQUEST-----

Privacy-enhanced mail[edit]

The PEM format was first developed in the privacy-enhanced mail series of RFCs: RFC 1421, RFC 1422, RFC 1423, and RFC 1424. These standards assumed prior deployment of a hierarchical public key infrastructure (PKI) with a single root. Such a PKI was never deployed, due to operational cost and legal liability concerns.[citation needed] These standards were eventually obsoleted by PGP and S/MIME, competing e-mail encryption standards.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sean, Leonard,; Simon, Josefsson,. "Textual Encodings of PKIX, PKCS, and CMS Structures". tools.ietf.org. Retrieved 2017-03-06. 
  2. ^ "DER vs. CRT vs. CER vs. PEM Certificates and How To Convert Them". support.ssl.com. Retrieved 2017-03-06.