The Basics of HTTP - Part 1 - What is HTTP

I have been dreading this first post about HTTP. So I am going to start it off simply by letting Wikipedia articulate what HTTP is, then I will try to put it into my own words.

Wikiepedia says:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems.

HTTP is a request/response standard between a client and a server. A client is the end-user, the server is the web site. The client making a HTTP request--using a web browser, spider, or other end-user tool--is referred to as the user agent. The responding server--which stores or creates resources such as HTML files and images--is called the origin server.

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The Basics of HTTP - Series Introduction

In preparation for an upcoming user group presentation and a project I have been working on, I have been doing a lot of reading about our old friend the Hypertext Transfer Protocol(HTTP).

Kurt Wiersma and I were talking at the last Twin Cities ColdFusion User Group meeting about application security and while talking we came to the realization that understanding the basics of how HTTP works is the foundation for recognizing threats to your application and in creating security countermeasure. Right there I decided that one of the next steps in my path along learning more about security and in educating other on security topics, was to learn as much as I could about the protocol on which we run our most precious applications.

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