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I know that using SSL doesn't stop third parties from seeing what you're connecting to. Does it also not protect against third parties seeing what port you're connecting on?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, they can.

To test this, I opened wireshark and browsed an SSL encrypted website.

Encapsulation is as follows:

  1. Frame
  2. Ethernet
  3. IP
  4. TCP
  5. SSL/TLS
  6. Application protocol such as HTTP or SMTP (which contains your data).

Another proof of concept would be this: If the port numbers were encrypted, a layer 3 device such as a NATing router would have no idea where to forward the traffic to.

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So only things in layers five and six are encrypted? What exactly do each of the layers contain? – Blacklight Shining Aug 23 '12 at 21:34
@BlacklightShining Explaining each of the layers is a bit beyond the scope of comments here, but you should look up the OSI Model for how data is ideally separated into layers, and the TCP/IP Model for how data is realistically separated into layers (because some of the distinctions in the OSI model are not worth the processing overhead, some layers are merged into a single layer in the TCP/IP model). – Darth Android Aug 23 '12 at 21:57

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