This section explores some security considerations when running IPFS Cluster.
There are four types of endpoins in IPFS Cluster to be taken into account when protecting access to the system. Exposing an unprotected endpoint might give anyone control of the cluster. Cluster configuration uses sensible defaults.
tcp:9096is used by the Cluster swarm and protected by the shared secret. It is OK to expose this port, as the secret acts as password to interact with it.
tcp:9094can be exposed when enabling SSL and setting up basic authentication
libp2p_listen_multiaddresscan be exposed when basic authentication is enabled.
tcp:5001is the API of the IPFS daemon and should not be exposed to other than
tcp:9095should not be exposed without an authentication mechanism. By default it provides no authentication nor encryption (similar to IPFS’s
Read the sections below to get a more detailed explanation.
IPFS Cluster peers communicate with each others using libp2p-encrypted streams (
secio). This streams are by default protected by a shared cluster secret (using the libp2p private networks feature).
The endpoint is controlled by the
cluster.listen_multiaddress configuration key, defaults to
/ip4/0.0.0.0/tcp/9096 and represents the listening address to establish communication with other peers (via Remote RPC calls and consensus protocol).
The shared secret controls authorization by locking this endpoint so that only the cluster peers holding the secret can communicate.
secret configuration value is empty, then nothing prevents anyone from sending RPC commands to the cluster RPC endpoint and thus, controlling the cluster and the IPFS daemon (at least when it comes to pin/unpin/pin ls and swarm connect operations. IPFS Cluster administrators should therefore be careful keep this endpoint unaccessible to third-parties when no
cluster.secret is set.
IPFS Cluster peers provide by default an HTTP API endpoint which can be configured with SSL. It also provides a libp2p API endpoint, which re-uses either the Cluster libp2p host or a specifically configured libp2p host.
These endpoints are controlled by the
/ip4/127.0.0.1/tcp/9094) and the
restapi.libp2p_listen_multiaddress (if a specific
id are configured in the
Note that when no additional libp2p host is configured, the Cluster’s peer libp2p host (which listens on
0.0.0.0) is re-used to provide the libp2p API endpoint. As explained, this endpoint is protected by the cluster secret.
Both endpoints support Basic Authentication but are unauthenticated by default.
Access to these endpoints allow to fully control IPFS Cluster, so they should be adecuately protected when they are opened up to other than
localhost. The secure channel provided by the configurable SSL or libp2p endpoint, along with Basic Authentication, allow to safely use these endpoints for remote administration.
IPFS Cluster peers communicate with the IPFS daemon (usually running on localhost) via plain, unauthenticated HTTP, using the IPFS HTTP API (by default on
IPFS Cluster peers also provide an unauthenticated HTTP IPFS Proxy endpoint, controlled by the
ipfshttp.proxy_listen_multiaddress option which defaults to
Access to any of these two endpoints imply control of the IPFS daemon and of IPFS Cluster to a certain extent. Thus they run on
localhost by default.