InterPlanetary File System

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.[3]

InterPlanetary File System
Original author(s)Juan Benet and Protocol Labs[1]
Developer(s)Protocol Labs
Initial releaseFebruary 2015 (2015-02)[1]
Stable release
0.4.22 / 13 August 2019 (2019-08-13)
Written inProtocol implementations: Go (reference implementation), JavaScript, C,[2] Python
Client libraries: Go, Java, JavaScript, Python, Scala, Haskell, Swift, Common Lisp, Rust, Ruby, PHP, C#, Erlang
Operating systemLinux, FreeBSD, macOS, Windows
Available inGo, JavaScript, Python
TypeProtocol, distributed file system, content delivery network
LicenseMIT license, Apache license 2.0

IPFS allows users to not only receive but host content, in a similar manner 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).

IPFS was launched in an alpha version in February 2015, and by October of the same year was described by TechCrunch as "quickly spreading by word of mouth."[1]


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. [4]

Security researchers had worked out previously the theoretical possibility of using IPFS as a botnet command-and-control system.[5]

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.[6]

Notable users

See also


  1. Case, Amber (4 October 2015). "Why The Internet Needs IPFS Before It's Too Late". TechCrunch. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  2. Agorise (23 October 2017). "c-ipfs: IPFS implementation in C. Why C? Think Bitshares' Stealth backups, OpenWrt routers (decentralize the internet/meshnet!), Android TV, decentralized Media, decentralized websites, decent." Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  3. Finley, Klint (20 June 2016). "The Inventors of the Internet Are Trying to Build a Truly Permanent Web". Wired.
  4. Palmer, Danny (11 June 2019). "This unusual Windows malware is controlled via a P2P network". ZDNet. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  5. Patsakis, Constantinos; Casino, Fran (4 June 2019). "Hydras and IPFS: a decentralised playground for malware". International Journal of Information Security. 18 (6): 787–799. arXiv:1905.11880. doi:10.1007/s10207-019-00443-0.
  6. Abrams, Lawrence (4 October 2018). "Phishing Attacks Distributed Through CloudFlare's IPFS Gateway". Bleeping Computer. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  7. Balcell, Marta Poblet (5 October 2017). "Inside Catalonia's cypherpunk referendum". Eureka Street.
  8. Hill, Paul (30 September 2017). "Catalan referendum app removed from Google Play Store". Neowin. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  9. Dale, Brady (10 May 2017). "Turkey Can't Block This Copy of Wikipedia". Observer Media. Archived from the original on 18 October 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  10. Johnson, Steven (16 January 2018). "Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
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