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A third party is rebooting troubled Firefox Send file transfer service

How to transfer files to a new PC
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A new web service has decided to build upon the discontinued Firefox Send (opens in new tab) service to provide a more secure and end-to-end encrypted alternative to popular cloud service (opens in new tab) providers. 

Firefox Send was an open source (opens in new tab) web service that enabled users to upload, encrypt, and transfer files (opens in new tab) to others via URLs. It was shuttered as it was being constantly abused to spread malware (opens in new tab).

A startup called Socket has now spun up a functionally similar cloud-based service named Wormhole (opens in new tab) that will send files up to 10 GB for free, while making sure they can’t be read by any intermediary, including themselves.

"Wormhole uses super fast P2P transfer when possible, which comes in extra handy when both devices are on the same network (since data transferred over the local network is much faster than going out and back to the internet)," explained Socket’s co-founder and prolific open source developer Feross Aboukhadijeh.

Privacy and more

Wormhole encrypts all files (opens in new tab) before they are uploaded to Socket’s servers, and spits out a URL that can be sent to the recipient by any means. All download links automatically expire after 24 hours. 

Speaking to The Register, Aboukhadijeh shared that offering a secure service isn’t enough these days to attract users, which is why they’ve built some interesting features into the service, especially to make Wormhole faster than popular file transfer platforms like Dropbox (opens in new tab), Google Drive (opens in new tab), and WeTransfer (opens in new tab).

Wormhole’s instant streaming presents you a URL even before your files have been fully uploaded. And thanks to its use of P2P, your recipients can also download the files even before they have been completely uploaded.

To tackle abuse, Aboukhadijeh wants to borrow a page from the page of other products that offer end-to-end encryption like Signal and WhatsApp (opens in new tab). For starters, Wormhole might enforce client-side virus scanning in order to protect downloaders (opens in new tab) from malware.

The startup also plans to open source Wormhole’s code for analysis by the security community along with a bug bounty program with rewards of up to $1,000. 

Aboukhadijeh also discussed plans to monetize the service by introducing a Pro plan which offers larger file limits, customizable link expiration times, and a few more additional features. There’s also talks of an enterprise version that adheres to industry-specific security standards in order to pitch Wormhole to business users.

Via: The Register (opens in new tab)

Mayank Sharma
Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.