Project Maelstrom: Forensic Analysis of the BitTorrent-Powered Browser

Jason Farina; M-Tahar Kechadi; Mark Scanlon

Publication Date:  September 2015

Publication Name:  Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law: Proc. of 10th International Conference on Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensic Engineering (SADFE 2015)

Abstract:   In April 2015, BitTorrent Inc. released their distributed peer-to-peer powered browser Project Maelstrom into public beta. The browser facilitates a new alternative website distribution paradigm to the traditional HTTP based, client-server model. This decentralised web is powered by each of the users accessing each Maelstrom hosted website. Each user shares their copy of the website with other new visitors to the website. As a result, a Maelstrom hosted website cannot be taken offline by law enforcement or any other parties. Due to this open distribution model, a number of interesting censorship, security and privacy considerations are raised. This paper explores the application, its protocol, sharing Maelstrom content and its new visitor powered “web-hosting” paradigm.

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BibTeX Entry:


      @article{farina2015maelstrom,
author= "Jason Farina and M-Tahar Kechadi and Mark Scanlon",
title="Project Maelstrom: Forensic Analysis of the BitTorrent-Powered Browser",
booktitle="Journal of Digital Forensics, Security and Law: Proc. of 10th International Conference on Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensic Engineering (SADFE 2015)",
year="2015",
month= "09",
pages= "115-124",
publisher="JDFSL",
doi="https://doi.org/10.15394/jdfsl.2015.1216",
abstract="In April 2015, BitTorrent Inc. released their distributed peer-to-peer powered browser Project Maelstrom into public beta. The browser facilitates a new alternative website distribution paradigm to the traditional HTTP based, client-server model. This decentralised web is powered by each of the users accessing each Maelstrom hosted website. Each user shares their copy of the website with other new visitors to the website. As a result, a Maelstrom hosted website cannot be taken offline by law enforcement or any other parties. Due to this open distribution model, a number of interesting censorship, security and privacy considerations are raised. This paper explores the application, its protocol, sharing Maelstrom content and its new visitor powered ``web-hosting'' paradigm."
}