InterPlanetary File System
|Original author(s)||Juan Benet and Protocol Labs|
|Initial release||February 2015|
0.12.0 / 2022-02-18
|License||MIT license, Apache license 2.0|
|Part of a series on|
|Video sharing sites|
|File sharing networks|
|Anonymous file sharing|
|History and societal aspects|
|By country or region|
The InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) is a protocol and peer-to-peer network for storing and sharing data in a distributed file system. IPFS uses content-addressing to uniquely identify each file in a global namespace connecting all computing devices.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2020)
IPFS allows users to host and receive content in a manner similar to BitTorrent. As opposed to a centrally located server, IPFS is built around a decentralized system of user-operators who hold a portion of the overall data, creating a resilient system of file storage and sharing. Any user in the network can serve a file by its content address, and other peers in the network can find and request that content from any node who has it using a distributed hash table (DHT).
In contrast to BitTorrent, IPFS aims to create a single global network. This means that if two users publish a block of data with the same hash, the peers downloading the content from "user 1" will also exchange data with the ones downloading it from "user 2". IPFS aims to replace protocols used for static webpage delivery by using gateways which are accessible with HTTP. Users may choose not to install an IPFS client on their device and instead use a public gateway. A list of these gateways is maintained on the IPFS GitHub page.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2020)
Implementations and uses
The Catalan independence referendum, taking place in September–October 2017, was deemed illegal by the Constitutional Court of Spain and many related websites were blocked. Subsequently, the Catalan Pirate Party mirrored the website on IPFS to bypass the High Court of Justice of Catalonia order of blocking.
Phishing attacks have also been distributed through Cloudflare's IPFS gateway since July 2018. The phishing scam HTML is stored on IPFS, and displayed via Cloudflare's gateway. The connection shows as secure via a Cloudflare SSL certificate.
The IPStorm botnet, first detected in June 2019, uses IPFS so it can hide its command-and-control amongst the flow of legitimate data on the IPFS network. Security researchers had worked out previously the theoretical possibility of using IPFS as a botnet command-and-control system.
Other notable uses
- During the block of Wikipedia in Turkey, IPFS was used to create a mirror of Wikipedia, which allowed access to the content of Wikipedia despite the ban. However, that version of Wikipedia was archived and therefore static.
- Filecoin is an IPFS-based cooperative storage cloud.
- Cloudflare runs a distributed web gateway to simplify, speed up, and secure access to IPFS without needing a local node.
- Microsoft's self-sovereign identity system, Microsoft ION, builds on the Bitcoin blockchain and IPFS through a Sidetree-based DID network.
- Brave uses Origin Protocol and IPFS to host its decentralized merchandise store and, in 2021, added support into their browser.
- Opera for Android has default support for IPFS, allowing mobile users to browse
ipfs://links to access data on the IPFS network.
- Content addressable storage
- Dat (software)
- Distributed file system
- Mnet (peer-to-peer_network) aka MojoNation
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