MIT’s Enigma for Secure Distributed Data Storage and Management

Enigma was one of the best cipher machines to be invented by the Germans by the end of World War I. The use of Enigma during most part of the World War II gave allied forces sleepless nights until they managed to crack the code. Now, a couple of Bitcoin entrepreneurs from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created their own version of Enigma for storing data on the computer network. ,

The prototype system developed at the MIT Media Lab uses homomorphic encryption, an encryption protocol developed by Craig Gentry, an IBM researcher in 2009. MIT’s Enigma prototype is developed by Guy Zyskind and Oz Nathan. The homomorphic encryption used in Enigma allows encrypted files to be distributed to third parties and used for computational purposes without the need for decryption. This ensures the integrity of encrypted files until it’s accessed by the authorized person. It also prevents hacking attacks and surveillance of data.

Powered by Bitcoin technology, Enigma uses homomorphically encrypted computations more efficiently than before. Enigma allows users to store sensitive files securely on a distributed cloud network. Data shared on the network will be encrypted and split into pieces which will be distributed randomly as indecipherable pieces to hundreds of computers that are part of Enigma network. These computers run computational operations on these encrypted data chunks without accessing any information or other pieces of data that weren’t assigned to them. In order to keep track of distribution of data chunks across Enigma network, the metadata is stored on bitcoin Blockchain. Once the metadata is stored on Blockchain, it can’t be modified and unless all the data chunks are pieced together, the file can’t be decrypted.

By means on encryption and decentralization, Enigma offers one of the most secure data management systems available out there. It will take a while before the network expands to have more node, making it more secure and stable. But with the incentive programs Enigma is setting up in place, it may happen soon. Initially users would have to pay a small fee in bitcoin to make use of Enigma services.



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