Configuring transport security: Start here

This section describes how to configure Transfer CFT objects transport security configuration. The following topics describe the objects that are involved in the Transfer CFT transport security configuration. The CFTPARM, CFTPROT, and CFTPART objects include parameters that are directly associated with SSL.

This topic provides basic information that you need to use transport security on your Transfer CFT. The following security elements are defined in this topic:

About transport security

Transport security implementation is a Transfer CFT option that is protected by the software key.

Implementing transport security has no impact on the applications using the Transfer CFT services. It is imposed by the Transfer CFT configuration and requires the installation of a public key infrastructure.

The SSL and TLS protocols come in between the file exchange protocol (PeSIT, ODETTE) and the communication protocol TCP. All the functions provided by the file exchange protocol are therefore conserved when security is implemented (compression, additional transfer-associated message, open mode,...).

The SSL and TLS protocols define the security suite, or cipher suite, concept. A suite is identified by a number and designates one:

  • Authentication algorithm
  • Encryption algorithm to ensure confidentiality
  • Hash algorithm to ensure integrity

The suites supported by Transfer CFT are described in the following table:


Order used




49199 ** 1 ECDHE + RSA authentication AES-128 GCM SHA-256
49200 ** 2 ECDHE + RSA authentication AES-256 GCM SHA-384
49191 ** 3

ECDHE + RSA authentication

AES-128 SHA-256
49192 ** 4 ECDHE + RSA authentication AES-256 SHA-384
156 ** 5 RSA authentication AES 128 GCM SHA-256
157 ** 6 RSA authentication AES 256 GCM SHA-384
60* 7 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) AES-128 SHA-256
61* 8 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) AES-256 SHA-256
47 9 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) AES-128 SHA-1
53 10 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) AES-256 SHA-1
10 11 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) Triple DES SHA-1
5 12 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) RC4 SHA-1
4 13 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) RC4 MD5
59* 14 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) None SHA-256
2 15 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096) None SHA-1
1 16 RSA authentication (512, 1024, 2048, or 4096)  None MD5
Note * To comply with security standards, as of Transfer CFT version 3.2.0 the use of the cipher suites 59, 60, and 61 is restricted to TLS 1.2 exclusively. This means that you cannot negotiate a session with another partner (monitor) that is using a TLS version lower than 1.2 with these cipher suites.
Note ** These cipher suites are only available for Transfer CFT 3.2.2 and higher and are restricted to use with TLS 1.2.

Transfer CFT only processes X.509 certificates with an RSA signature. Authentication can be one-way or mutual. It is one-way if only the server, in physical connection terms, is authenticated by the client via its certificate. It is mutual if the client is also authenticated by the server via its certificate. It is the server that decides whether the client must be authenticated.

Security profiles

A security profile combines the parameters used to negotiate the opening of an SSL or TLS session. It is associated with the definition of a protocol (CFTPROT command) in the following conditions:

  • For incoming calls, or server mode:
    • One single profile per CFTPROT command
    • Additional controls may be associated for each partner
  • For outgoing calls, or client mode:
    • One default security profile per CFTPROT command
    • A different profile may be forced for each partner

Implementing a PKI

Transfer CFT can be interfaced with an external PKI (Xcert…) or integrated PKI. To interface Transfer CFT with an external PKI, you must create a Transfer CFT user exit from the supplier API.

The Transfer CFT integrated PKI provides a certificate management solution comprising a:

  • Certificate database
  • Certificate database management utility (PKIUTIL)

The PKIUTIL certificate database management utility offers functions allowing you to:

  • Create and delete the database
  • Install a trusted certificate in the database
  • Install a user certificate and its associated private key in the database
  • Delete a certificate from the database
  • Enable/disable a certificate
  • Display the database content, according to various criteria (authorities, validity date,...)

The certificate import command accepts the following formats:

  • PEM, Privacy Enhanced Mail, of the Base 64 variety
  • DER
  • PKCS, Public Key Cryptographic Standards:
  • PKCS #7 Cryptographic Message Syntax Standard used for encrypting the data
  • PKCS#12 Personal Information Exchange Syntax Standard used for storing and transporting private keys, certificates, and so on
  • PKCS#8 used for storing the private keys, encrypted or decrypted

Transfer CFT then accesses this database whenever it needs to locate a user certificate, an authority certificate - which is essential for checking the certificates received, or a user private key. The private keys are encrypted in the certificate database. Encryption is performed on the basis of a password supplied by the user when the key was imported. This password is not recorded, but must be declared in the Transfer CFT configuration.

Transfer CFT also offers an operating mode in which only confidentiality and integrity are provided without certificate-based authentication. In this operating mode, a PKI does not need to be implemented.

Using delivered SSL templates

Transfer CFT no longer delivers certificates and private key samples in the product packaging. However Transfer CFT does provide a template, which you can update and use as described in the delivered samples ($CFTDIRRUNTIME\conf). The file cft-pki.conf describes how to insert a certificate in the local database in the various formats. The file cft-tcp.conf contains general configuration, and commented SSL profiles.

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