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I was wondering if the firewall has the ability to decrypt the SSL traffic.

If so, the network admin is able to read the data in clear text at transit.

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SSL/TLS is a protocol providing an end-to-end encrypted communication between two parties each having one of the keys in private/public key pair. Typically a browser and a web server.

In normal circumstances any device between the two endpoints cannot decrypt the communication. That includes firewalls.

It is however possible (and used in organizations) to use a proxy server that decrypts and re-encrypts communication thus allowing interception and decryption (for example for monitoring and filtering). It does however require adding an additional certificate to a trusted certificate store on a client machine (either automatically through a software management system or manually by users).

  • Is the network admin able to decrypt the encrypted communication through the firewall if the network admin has obtained the private key of the web server? – IanCool Apr 28 '16 at 5:15
  • Yes, that's logical. If you own the private key, you are able to decrypt communication encrypted with the corresponding public key. – techraf Apr 28 '16 at 5:17
  • Speaking of proxy server, is it safe to use public proxy server. Reason being, I configured my iphone to connect to public china proxy server for watching the blocked live streaming that hosted in china. – IanCool Apr 28 '16 at 5:24
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    @IanCool: the last question is a completely different topic. And no, it is not safe to use just some random proxy server you found in a list on the internet. Public proxy servers are found to inject ads and malware into the trafffic - that's how they make money. – Steffen Ullrich Apr 28 '16 at 5:30
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    Please mind that this is not a discussion forum. The link to the proxies had nothing to do with your original question. – techraf Apr 28 '16 at 5:45

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