Project Maelstrom: Forensic Analysis of the BitTorrent-Powered Browser

Jason Farina, M-Tahar Kechadi, Mark Scanlon


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 visitors accessing each Maelstrom hosted website. Each user shares their copy of the website;s source code and multimedia content with new visitors. 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.


Project Maelstrom, BitTorrent, Decentralised Web, Alternative Web, Browser Forensics

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