Basic Encoding Rules

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BER or Basic Encoding Rules is a transfer syntax defined by the ITU in X.690. It is a Presentation Layer protocol which allows applications to exchange information. ASN.1 includes cryptographic extension which allows peer to peer encryption between applications.

BER is the most flexible format of the encoding rules. Slightly more stringent is CER, with DER being the most stringent. ASN.1 also specifies syntax for XER, or XML encoding rules.

Viewing and Editing Tools

Peter Gutmann's asn1dump is the commandl line tool of choice for viewing certificate encodings. Gemini Security Solutions [1] offers a visual front end to asn1dump.

Objective System offer a visual ASN.1 editor [2], which allows viewing and editing of a certificate similar to a binary hex editor.

Sample Programs

See BEREncode and BERDecode for Sample Programs.