IPFS Local Node Hosting and Security

Hello!

I am using the Brave browser and have been playing around with the IPFS companion. I am interested in supporting a decentralized web; therefore, I’m happy to set up a locale node.

I’m new to IPFS (as are many people) and I really don’t know what I’m doing yet. I’ve read the IPFS docs, Brave documentation, and other websites. However, I still have questions about general security. I do not share any files, but would like to take advantage of IPFS for websites that have been enabled with the protocol.

While the local node is enabled, is it safe for me to visit my bank website or credit card websites or other financial institutions? When I say safe, I mean, are the content of my accounts being stored on the local IPFS node? I assume no - since these institutions do not yet use IPFS content addressing. Only content from websites using IPFS protocols would be stored on the local node?

Thank you for taking the time to read this and possibly address my questions!

IPFS is similar to BitTorrent in some ways. It will only store files or look at files you’ve specifically added to it (like BitTorrent). Simply installing this stuff and letting it run won’t cause it to see any of your network traffic. You are completely safe. But if you DO add files to IPFS they ARE visible to the entire world potentially, same as with BitTorrent. Hope this answers your concerns. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Thank you kindly for your response.

At this time, I do not have files of interest to share. My main concern is that the local IPFS node would be caching the https traffic, and therefore that content would be viewable/shareable through the node. This appears not to be the case.

Would the node cache IPFS traffic? For example, if I go to the IPFS mirror of Wikipedia and search for Aardvark. Would that Aardvark content automatically exist on my local node for worldwide sharing? Or would I still need to manually upload that Aardvark content (actual content or CID?) to my local IPFS node for it to be shared?

Apologies in advance if my questions reveal my naivete.

As you request content from the IPFS network, yes those files and/or chunks of files, will get saved on your instance, and yes they will then be available to others, similar again in that regard to how BitTorrent works. Nothing about IPFS has been designed afaik to keep information secret. If you are sharing only encrypted files then of course in that case no one can see the content (obviously), but pretty much everything else can technically be ‘seen’.

1 Like