I am establishing service with an industry data provider and they require the use of FTPS (FTP/TLS) for the connection to their data repository. They requested that I purchase an SSL certificate for this purpose and provide them with the "public SSL cert" so that they can configure my account on their servers.

Unfortunately, their technical folks are not native English speakers and the terminology they use is a bit confusing. Here is the text of their request. If anyone can shed some light on what they are asking for and how to get it to them it would be greatly appreciated. (SMT is the data service provider)

First you can understand the SSL handshake process between SMT and Client(REP/Thirdparty). Client needs to purchase both private key and the corresponding public key from CA authorized companies, Client will provide only the public SSL cert(.pem or crt or cer) to SMT. SMT will create FTP account and update that public SSL cert on their client's ftp account.

Once done FTP/API account creation, SMT will share the details to client. Client needs to configure Core FTP client tool as per the document and select the corresponding private key(.p12 or .pfx) while connecting FTP account.

These certificates(SMT-SSL public cert, Client-SSL private cert) facilitate the mutual authentication of the ftps client computer and the SMT FTP server, and set up a secure channel between those devices encrypted via SSL.

  • When you purchase a SSL certificate you are provided two files, the public and private key files, your data provider requires a copy of the public key. – Ramhound Sep 12 '16 at 14:54
  • If they want your public key anyway, wasting money on a certificate is pointless. Ask them whether it can be self-signed. // edit: Scratch that, it looks like they want to do client certificate authentication? That's ridiculous. – Daniel B Sep 12 '16 at 15:00
  • @Ramhound, The certificate came with the following files: (the cert was purchased for the website gcpowergroup.com) gcpowergroup.com.key gcpowergroup.com.csr gcpowergroup.com.crt gcpowergroup.com-starfield.crt My assumption is that the .key file is the Private key the .csr is the Certificate Signing Request the gcpowergroup.com.crt is the actual Certificate the gcpowergroup.com-starfield.crt is the CA Which one do I send to SMT? Thanks! – dstrahm Sep 12 '16 at 15:24
  • @dstrahm - What files? What website it is for, is not important, you were provided a (.perm/.crt/*.cer) file which is the public key and a (*p12 or *.pfx) file which is the private key. If your website is configured to use the SSl certificate, you have the private key stored on the server, you can get the public key using a browser to do so (or use the copy the CA provided you). The instructions you were provided are clear which file you should send to your contact. Any relevant information should be contained in the question not comments, which are subject to be removed, at any point. – Ramhound Sep 12 '16 at 15:29
  • @Ramhound - thanks for the response, making some progress here! So I have the .crt file that was downloaded from the webserver. What I don't have is the *p12 or *.pfx file. Assuming it is on the server already. I also installed the certificate on my local client since that is where the FTP client (for retrieving the data files) will be used from. Is there an issue with the SSL certificate being installed on the web server and also my local client? – dstrahm Sep 12 '16 at 15:33

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