The SET Protocol

Authored by: Mostafa Hashem Sherif

Protocols for Secure Electronic Commerce

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781482203745
eBook ISBN: 9781482203776
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the Secure Electronic Trans­action (SET), a protocol designed to secure bank card transactions initiated on open networks. SET was sponsored jointly by Visa and MasterCard in collaboration with important players in business software such as IBM, GTE, Microsoft, SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), Terisa Systems, and VeriSign (SET specification, 1997).*1

At the time, SAIC also owned the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC), which, until 1999, was the sole administrator of Internet domain names .com, .org, and .net. It was also the owner of Telcordia (formerly BellCore). A fully owned subsidiary of SAIC, Tenth Mountain Systems, Inc., was the first SET Compliance Certification Authority (SCCA).

Secure Electronic Transaction LLC (SETCo) was responsible for maintaining the specifications, for conformance and interoperability testing, and for issuing licensing agreements. Despite this impressive list of promoters, the market opted TLS/SSL rather than SET. From a technical point of view, however, the study of SET is still worthwhile because it introduced many innovations that could be reutilized in the future.

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