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.


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
  • 2
    @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
  • 1
    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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.