PEM or Privacy Enhanced Mail is a Base64 encoded DER certificate. Privacy Enhanced Mail certificates are frequently used for web servers as they can easily be translated into a readable data using the simple text editor. In generally when a Privacy Enhanced Mail encoded file is opened in a text editor, then it contains very distinct headers and footers.The Privacy Enhanced Mail file type is primarily associated with the ‘Privacy Enhanced Mail Security Certificate’. In cryptography, a public key certificate is a certificate which uses a digital signature to bind together a public key with an identity.

The certificate can be used to verify that the public key belongs to an individual. Privacy Enhanced Mail, is an early IETF proposal for securing the email using public key cryptography. However, Privacy Enhanced Mail became an IETF proposed standard it was never widely deployed or used. These can be a personal certificate or an Authority certificate. .pem Defined in RFC’s 1421 through 1424, this is a container format that may include a public certificate or an entire certificate chain for including a public key, private key, and root certificates. Confusingly, it may also encode a CSR as the PKCS10 format can be translated into PEM. The Privacy Enhanced Mail, a failed method for secure email but the container format it used lives on and is a base64 translation of the x509 ASN.1 keys.

PEM is a widely used encoding format for security certificates. The main file extensions are .pem, .ca-bundle, .crt.

A PEM certificate is a base64 (ASCII) encoded block of data encapsulated between




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