Author Archives: Brendan McMillion
Author Archives: Brendan McMillion
Encryption is one of the most powerful technologies that everyone uses on a daily basis without realizing it. Transport-layer encryption, which protects data as it’s sent across the Internet to its intended destination, is now ubiquitous because it’s a fundamental tool for creating a trustworthy Internet. Disk encryption, which protects data while it’s sitting idly on your phone or laptop’s hard drive, is also becoming ubiquitous because it prevents anybody who steals your device from also being able to see what’s on your desktop or read your email.
The next improvement on this technology that’s starting to gain popularity is end-to-end encryption, which refers to a system where only the end-users are able to access their data -- not any intermediate service providers. Some of the most popular examples of this type of encryption are chat apps like WhatsApp and Signal. End-to-end encryption significantly reduces the likelihood of a user’s data being maliciously stolen from, or otherwise mishandled by a service provider. This is because even if the service provider loses the data, nobody will have the keys to decrypt it!
Several months ago, I realized that I had a lot of sensitive files on my computer (my diary, if Continue reading
When we launched our InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) gateway last year we were blown away by the positive reception. Countless people gave us valuable suggestions for improvement and made open-source contributions to make serving content through our gateway easy (many captured in our developer docs). Since then, our gateway has grown to regularly handle over a thousand requests per second, and has become the primary access point for several IPFS websites.
We’re committed to helping grow IPFS and have taken what we have learned since our initial release to improve our gateway. So far, we’ve done the following:
One of the ways we tried to improve the performance of our gateway when we initially set it up was by setting really high cache TTLs. After all, content on IPFS is largely meant to be static. The complaint we heard though, was that site owners were frustrated at wait times upwards of several hours for changes to their website to propagate.
The way an IPFS gateway knows what content to serve when it receives a request for a given domain is by looking up the value of a TXT record associated with the domain – the DNSLink Continue reading
This post describes how to use Cloudflare's IPFS gateway to set up a website which is end-to-end secure, while maintaining the performance and reliability benefits of being served from Cloudflare’s edge network. If you'd rather read an introduction to the concepts behind IPFS first, you can find that in our announcement. Alternatively, you could skip straight to the developer docs to learn how to set up your own website.
By 'end-to-end security', I mean that neither the site owner nor users have to trust Cloudflare to serve the correct documents, like they do now. This is similar to how using HTTPS means you don't have to trust your ISP to not modify or inspect traffic.
The first step is to choose a domain name for your website. Websites should be given their own domain name, rather than served directly from the gateway by root hash, so that they are considered a distinct origin by the browser. This is primarily to prevent cache poisoning, but there are several functional advantages as well. It gives websites their own instance of localStorage and their own cookie jar which are sandboxed from inspection and manipulation by malicious third-party documents. Continue reading