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X509 is a standard that defines a format for public key certificates. Public key certificates are digital documents that contain a public key and other information about the owner of the key, such as their name, email address, and the purpose for which the key is being used.

X509 certificates are used to authenticate users and devices, to establish secure communication channels, and to sign and verify documents. They are an important part of many cryptographic systems and are commonly used in applications such as secure web browsing, secure email, and secure file transfer.

An X509 certificate is issued by a certificate authority (CA), which is a trusted third party that verifies the identity of the certificate owner and signs the certificate to attest to the validity of the information it contains. The certificate is then used to establish trust between the certificate owner and other parties, such as users and devices that want to communicate with the certificate owner.

X509 certificates are based on the X.509 standard, which defines the format and contents of the certificate, as well as the algorithms and protocols that are used to create, sign, and verify the certificate.