by P. H. Madore
Cloud storage for business and personal use has been on the rise for the last decade. Companies like Google and Dropbox have dominated the market, offering large amounts of storage for free and competitive pricing for businesses. These companies have a severe drawback, however, in that they are (whether they make it easily known or not) able to access the data stored in their servers if directed to do so by authorities. This presents a problem not just for bad actors, like those trafficking in illegal data such as child pornography, but also for businesses with high-profile trade secrets on the line.
If cloud storage were real storage, then these options would have plexiglass walls, see-through in essence, a step away from interference by malicious attackers or nosy government officials. All hope is not lost, though, as companies like Mega and Sync.com have arisen to offer encrypted storage options. Mega has long embraced Bitcoin since its owner, embattled file-sharing magnate Kim Dotcom, faced his own personal banking blockade, which resulted in his company being all but unable to collect fees for its encrypted storage. Now Mega has a competitor which also accepts bitcoins, Sync.com, which offers 500 gigabytes of storage for as little as $4 per month.
The Canadian firm offers all the same bells and whistles as other encrypted cloud storage providers, using a “zero-knowledge” strategy which prevents the company from arbitrarily snooping on its customers. The only people with access to the data are the customers themselves. To extend the real storage analogy, you’re basically renting an impenetrable shed to which only you have the key.
Sync.com uses 2048 bit RSA, 256 bit AES, SSL and TLS encryption. Customers can also encrypt their own files before storing them, adding an extra layer of security to the process. This would mean that even if Sync.com’s implementation of RSA were somehow compromised, the files themselves would remain locked down, and the attacker would have to know the private key to each file in question.
Tapping into a security-conscious market, Sync.com recently began accepting Bitcoin for its services. This will mean that even the customer’s payment details are not useful to a successful attacker, as the only information one can glean from a Bitcoin transaction record is the address it came from and the address it went to.
Those interested in replacing Dropbox or Google Drive with Sync.com can sign up for a free 5GB account. Business plans range from $49 per year for 500 gigabytes to $98 (less than .5BTC at present rates) for 2 terabytes.