Mega (service)

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MEGA
01 mega logo.svg
Mega.co.nz file uploader.PNG
MEGA web application in 2013
Developer(s)MEGA Ltd.
Initial release19 January 2013; 8 years ago (2013-01-19)
Repositoryhttps://github.com/meganz
Written inPHP, C++, JavaScript, Java, Objective-C
Operating system
Available in50 languages[1]
List of languages
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Basque, Bosnian, Brazilian Portuguese, Breton, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malaysian, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Welsh
Type
LicenseMEGA Limited Code Review Licence (source-available freeware)
Websitemega.io

MEGA (a recursive acronym standing for MEGA Encrypted Global Access)[2] is a cloud storage and file hosting service offered by MEGA Limited, a company based in Auckland, New Zealand.[3] The service is offered through web-based apps. MEGA mobile apps are also available for Android and iOS. MEGA is known for the largest fully featured free cloud storage in the world with 20 GB[4] storage allocation for free accounts. The website and service was launched on 19 January 2013, by Kim Dotcom, together with chief technical officer, director, and co-founder Mathias Ortmann, chief marketing officer Finn Batato, and Bram van der Kolk.

Data encryption[edit]

Data on Mega services is end-to-end encrypted[5] client-side using the AES algorithm. Since Mega does not know the encryption keys to uploaded files, they cannot decrypt and view the content. Therefore, they cannot be responsible for the contents of uploaded files.[6] By encrypting files MEGA can work with a larger number of data hosting companies around the world, decreasing the likelihood of a Megaupload-style seizure of servers by one government. MEGA also uses CloudRAID technology,[7] which means files are split into roughly equal-sized parts and stored in different countries. They also store another part in yet another country recording whether the number of “1” bits at a certain position within all parts is even or odd. This means that users can reconstruct data even when one of the parts is unavailable.

In the first few weeks after the Mega launch, various security problems were found that researchers said an attacker could use to gain access to a logged-in user's files.[8][9][10] In response, Mega started a vulnerability reward program which offers a reward of up to €10,000 for reporting security problems to MEGA.[11] There is also a webpage with more information.[12]

Account options[edit]

  • Free account users receive:[4]
    • 20 GB of base storage quota.
    • Additional storage allowances can be activated through various "achievements", but expire after 365 days. No maximum storage.
  • Paid account users are provided with four tiers of options:[13]
    • 400 GB storage (1 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 2 TB storage (2 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 8 TB storage (8 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • 16 TB storage (16 TB of bandwidth per month)
  • Business accounts[14]
    • 3 users minimum
    • 3 TB storage (3 TB of bandwidth per month)
    • Additional TB's of storage or bandwidth can be purchased with no upper limit

API and open source[edit]

Mega publishes an SDK[15] as well as source code of all their client applications[16] for transparency and the developer community. MEGA also releases a yearly transparency report that publishes statistics on takedown requests, subscriber information disclosure and related issues. This is intended to provide transparency for users, regulatory bodies and suppliers as to Mega’s operating processes relating to privacy and to statutory compliance.[17] According to the latests 2021 report MEGA now has over 230 million registered users in more than 200 countries and territories. In total, Mega’s users have uploaded more than 100 billion distinct files.[18]

History[edit]

MEGA was founded after file-hosting site Megaupload was seized and shut down on 19 January 2012 by the United States Department of Justice, which began criminal cases against its owners. After Gabon denied the new company domain name me.ga,[19] MEGA announced it would instead be registered in the country of residence of its founders New Zealand, under the domain name mega.co.nz.[20] Mega launched on 19 January 2013 – exactly a year after Megaupload was shut down.[21] It was founded by Kim Dotcom, Bram van der Kolk, Finn Batato, and Mathias Ortmann.[22] Dotcom reported on Twitter MEGA had over 100,000 registered users within the first hour, speculating that this may make Mega the fastest-growing startup in history.[23] Kim Dotcom also reported on Twitter that the site was extremely busy, and received thousands of user registrations per minute at the time of the tweet.[24] Kim later reported Mega having more than 1 million registered users, and 60 uploads completed every second.[25] Three days later that number was updated to 500 uploads completed every second.[26]

Early users of the site experienced various issues due to the sites popularity, including slow-to-nonexistent upload speeds and problems logging in.[27] The service improved slightly over the next three days, but remained insufficient for large volumes of uploads. Others said there appeared to be no way to close an account in case it got compromised.[28] Technology commentators blamed the poor performance on the site's popularity, noting it was ranked in the top 150 websites in the world in the first few days of its existence, subsequently dropping a few thousand places.[29]

Mega launched in 2013 as a cloud service with a tagline of "The Privacy Company".[30] On 4 July 2013, the Mega Android application was released on the Google Play marketplace.[31] Four days later, on 8 July 2013, the Mega software development kit (SDK) and affiliate program was released.[32] On 4 September 2013, Kim Dotcom stepped down as Director of Mega so he could pursue his political ambitions with the Internet Party.[33][34] In a later interview with the Washington Post on 7 September, Kim Dotcom announced Mega was getting 20,000 signups for the service every day.[35] Furthermore, in 2013 Mega was receiving about 100 DMCA takedowns per day.[36] On 26 November 2013, the official Mega iOS application was released on the App Store marketplace.[37] On 20 January 2014, the official MEGAsync application was released for Windows[38] and on 6 September 2014, the official MEGAsync application was released for Linux.[39]

In March 2014, chief executive Stephen Hall announced intentions to list MEGA on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.[40] In September, a report published from the Digital Citizens Alliance – commissioned via brand protection organization NetNames – characterising Mega as a 'shadowy cyberlocker'[41] was branded "grossly untrue and highly defamatory" by Mega's CEO.[42]

In July 2015, in a Q&A session with tech website Slashdot Dotcom mentioned he was no longer involved with Mega. Neither in a managing nor in a shareholder capacity.[43][44][45][46] Dotcom also mentions he will launch an open-source competitor to MEGA.[47] This competitor was supposed to be launched in 2014 but development and launch seem to be delayed indefinitely.[48]

In January 2016, Mega announced that the service has 35 million registered users that have uploaded 12 billion files.[49]

Later in 2016, Mega Ltd. released the source code to their client-side software under the Mega Limited Code Review License, a source-available software license, on GitHub.[50] This allows independent verification of the correctness and integrity of the implementation of MEGA's cryptographic model and service reliability.

In 2020, it reached a user-base of 195 million users.[51] This was also its first year turning a profit.[52]

In 2021, Mega added a domain name to include Mega.io and Mega.nz.[53] The .io domain was chosen to reflects the global nature of MEGA which has more than 200 million registered users in over 215 countries / territories.[53] MEGA continues to say that the .io pages are also more likely to be properly indexed by search engines than the current .nz pages, which are often incorrectly treated as only being relevant to New Zealand searches.

Later in 2021, Mega shares their transparency report where they record 230 million registered users storing 107 billion files.[54]

Limitations[edit]

According to Mega, the site works with all major current browsers, but there can be some inconveniences to using browsers other than Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Vivaldi or Microsoft Edge. For example, with Safari, MEGA runs into some limitations due to inferior browser design.[55]

New features[edit]

MEGAchat[edit]

In February 2013, Mega announced it would be expanding into e-mail, chat, voice, video, and mobile.[56] In December 2014, MEGA said it would "soon" launch a browser-based chat service.[56] In mid-January 2015, Mega launched MegaChat in beta,[57][58] marketed as a web-based, encrypted alternative to applications like Skype and FaceTime.[57][58]

Browser extension[edit]

Mega released a browser plugin extension called MEGA Chrome Extension in 2015. It was advertised as reducing loading times, improving downloading performance, and strengthening security.[59] Mega also released a browser extension for Firefox.[60]

On 5 September 2018 it was reported that the extension on the Chrome Web Store was compromised by the addition of code designed to steal website credentials and cryptocurrency.[61][62][63] The original code on the GitHub page was not affected.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mega". Mega LTD. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  2. ^ https://help.mega.nz/webclient/general.html#what-does-mega-stand-for
  3. ^ Mega Limited in the New Zealand Companies Office Companies Register.
  4. ^ a b https://mega.io/blog/looking-for-the-largest-free-cloud-storage-in-the
  5. ^ https://mega.nz/help/client/webclient/security-and-privacy#how-does-the-encryption-work-57672896886688a70c8b45ad
  6. ^ Graeber, Charles (28 March 2013). "Megaupload Is Dead. Long Live Mega! | Threat Level". Wired.com. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  7. ^ https://mega.nz/about/reliability
  8. ^ "SpiderOak's Analysis and Recommendations for the Crypto in Kim Dotcom's Mega, Part One". Spideroak.com. 23 January 2013. Archived from the original on 31 March 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  9. ^ "A word on cryptography". Mega.co.nz. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Mega's first week - a retrospective". Mega.co.nz. 26 January 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  11. ^ "The Mega Vulnerability Reward Program". Mega.co.nz. 2 February 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  12. ^ https://mega.io/security/bug-bounty
  13. ^ "Mega packages". Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ https://mega.io/business
  15. ^ "MEGA Software Development Kit". Mega.co.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  16. ^ "MEGA Source Code Transparency". Mega.co.nz. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  17. ^ https://mega.io/blog/mega-transparency-report-2021
  18. ^ https://mega.io/Mega_Transparency_Report_September_2021.pdf
  19. ^ "Gabon suspends Kim Dotcom's me.ga domain". 3 News NZ. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  20. ^ "Dotcom goes for NZ web address". 3 News NZ. 13 November 2012. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  21. ^ "Elaborate claims about new Dotcom site". 3 News NZ. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
  22. ^ Schwartz, Matthew (13 January 2013). "'Mega' Insecure: Kim Dotcom Defends Rebooted Megaupload Security". Dark Reading. Retrieved 4 March 2021. The new Mega service was launched by four people: Dotcom, 39; chief technical officer, director, and co-founder Mathias Ortmann, 40; chief marketing officer Finn Batato, 38; and Bram van der Kolk, 29.
  23. ^ Dotcom, Kim [@KimDotcom] (19 January 2013). "100,000 registered users in less than 1 hour. Fastest growing startup in Internet history? #Mega" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 8 November 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2021 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ Dotcom, Kim [@KimDotcom] (19 January 2013). "Site is extremely busy. Currently thousands of user registrations PER MINUTE" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2021 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Dotcom, Kim [@KimDotcom] (22 January 2013). "#Mega stats: 60 uploads complete every second!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 21 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2021 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ Dotcom, Kim [@KimDotcom] (25 January 2013). "When 500 uploads complete "every second" you know you created something powerful. #Mega" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 26 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2021 – via Twitter.
  27. ^ Satherley, Dan (22 January 2013). "Dotcom apologises to Mega users". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  28. ^ Boone, Jeb (23 January 2013). "Concerns raised over Mega site security". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  29. ^ 3 News online staff (28 January 2013). "Mega: service improves as visitors drop off". 3 News NZ. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  30. ^ Stevenson, Rebecca (28 September 2020). "Mega, the encryption company that wants to be everything". businessdesk.co.nz. Retrieved 4 March 2021. Mega, the new company, was launched in 2013. And this time around the company wouldn't pay for popular uploads — depending on being a more traditional cloud storage service. . . Mega’s tagline is: ‘the privacy company.’
  31. ^ "MEGA". mega.co.nz.
  32. ^ "MEGA launches SDK and Affiliate program". Official blog. 8 July 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  33. ^ https://mega.nz/blog/worried-about-kim-dotcoms-tweet-concerning-mega
  34. ^ CEOWorld magazine (4 September 2013). "Kim Dotcom Has Stepped Down As Director Of Mega File-Storage Startup". Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  35. ^ "Kim Dotcom is still wanted by the FBI. But that isn't slowing him down". The Washington Post. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  36. ^ "Keynote at OSDC 2013". Internet Ganesha. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  37. ^ "MEGA". mega.co.nz.
  38. ^ "MEGA". mega.co.nz.
  39. ^ "MEGA". mega.co.nz.
  40. ^ https://mega.nz/blog/mega-announces-plans-to-be-listed-on-the-new-zeala
  41. ^ NetNames. "BEHIND THE CYBERLOCKER DOOR: A Report on How Shadowy Cyberlocker Businesses Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions" (PDF). Digital Citizens Alliance. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  42. ^ Andy. "Mega Demands Apology Over "Defamatory" Cyberlocker Report". TorrentFreak.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  43. ^ https://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/kim-dotcom-turns-mega-and-ceo-responds-savaging
  44. ^ "Interviews: Kim Dotcom Answers Your Questions – Slashdot". yro.slashdot.org. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  45. ^ "Kim Dotcom: 'I don't think your data is safe on Mega anymore'". The Next Web. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  46. ^ "Kim Dotcom Warns Mega Users to Backup Their Files - TorrentFreak". 21 April 2016.
  47. ^ "Kim Dotcom promises to launch an open-source competitor to Mega (updated)". Engadget. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  48. ^ Dotcom, Kim [@KimDotcom] (9 June 2015). "MegaNet details will be revealed and equity will be available via crowd funding on 20 Jan 2016, the fourth anniversary of the raid. #Disrupt" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2021 – via Twitter.
  49. ^ "MEGA turns 3!". 20 January 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  50. ^ "Mega Limited". GitHub.
  51. ^ Stevenson, Rebecca (28 September 2020). "Mega, the encryption company that wants to be everything". businessdesk.co.nz. Retrieved 4 March 2021. Hall says the Kiwi company now has 195 million users. In March, when the covid lockdowns happened, user registrations jumped 60 percent almost overnight, Hall says.
  52. ^ Stevenson, Rebecca (28 September 2020). "Mega, the encryption company that wants to be everything". businessdesk.co.nz. Retrieved 4 March 2021. The company has also become profitable in the past 12 months - an important milestone although neither will give details on revenue.
  53. ^ a b "Additional Domain for MEGA: mega.io". 18 January 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  54. ^ Immanni, Manikanta (22 October 2021). "Mega Cloud Now Has 230 Million Users Storing 107 Billion Files". TechDator. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  55. ^ https://mega.io/blog/apple-please-fix-safari
  56. ^ a b Protalinski, Emil (28 December 2014). "Kim Dotcom's Mega to launch browser-based encrypted video call and chat service 'soon'". VentureBeat. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  57. ^ a b Mathews, Lee (22 January 2015). "Kim Dotcom launches MegaChat, the video chat service even Snowden trusts". Geek.com. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  58. ^ a b Condliffe, Jamie (22 January 2015). "Mega Just Launched End-to-End Encrypted Audio and Video Chat". Gizmodo. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  59. ^ https://mega.nz/plugin retrieved 29 July 2015
  60. ^ "MEGA". mega.nz.
  61. ^ Kan, Michael (5 September 2018). "Mega.nz Chrome Extension Hacked to Steal Logins". PC Magazine. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  62. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (4 September 2018). "MEGA.nz Chrome extension caught stealing passwords, cryptocurrency private keys". ZDNet. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  63. ^ Nguyen, Chuong. "Hacked Chrome extension disguised as legitimate version steals logins". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved 23 January 2019.

External links[edit]