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Looking for an alternative to UbuntuOne, I found that the official Chinese distro, Ubuntu Kylin, has announced a cloud service from Kingsoft KuaiPan, with its own "customed app". This sync client is only partially translated into english, but it was quite easy to get 1TB extra: 512GB installing their apk in my Android phone (which I uninstalled as soon as I got the extra storage) and 512GB binding it with wechat (a service I don't use anyhow). It is no doubt a generous amount of free space which derives mainly from a cloud storage war in China.

UbuntuKylin Systray

Apart from a slight memory leak, I must acknowledge how well this service integrates in Unity. A screenshot of the KuaiPan folder in Nautilus (note the Ubuntu logo):

Kuaipan folder in Nautilus

Provided that Canonical somehow endorses this service, I can imagine that it is reliable at least to some extent. My natural question is to what degree? Of course, if I were paranoid, I wouldn't share any personal file on any server beyond my sight. However, I'd like to know

  1. if KuaiPan provides end-to-end encryption; and

  2. how this service handles storage and files (i.e. if they have a “master key” to see/open them)

In case they don't offer a secure connection, please let me know if there is a way to take advantage of this service, for instance, using it as a backup protected with password.

  • I don't see where Canonical supports that service. – dobey Apr 9 '14 at 13:53
  • I stated that Canonical supports this service from the fact that Canonical announced: “Coming soon — Kingsoft Kuaipan cloud storage service, complete with 100GB of free storage for every user.” It is written in ubuntu.com/desktop/ubuntu-kylin – Ed Villegas Apr 9 '14 at 14:09
  • Ubuntu-Kylin is the Asian addition of Ubuntu. Thats all i know about Kylin :/ – blade19899 Apr 9 '14 at 14:17
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    I've done some strace, it uses some type of ssl, hard to tell if it's for the data or just authentication. second one, even if they had don't think they'd tell you.. – kmassada Apr 11 '14 at 18:12
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    one.ubuntu.com uses highgrade encryption(camellia-256) while connection to kuaipan.cn is not encrypted at all. This means that the website is many times insecure than Ubuntu-one. Also when you get more than what you should(1TB or 2TB), there has to be something wrong going underneath. kuaipan maybe safe for privacy-unconcerned users, but the best thing for any one else is to either create a small server in a group(eg. 10Tb between 5 friends) or to use a external drive(take it everywhere) or to quit using such services completely. – Registered User Apr 12 '14 at 6:19
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Kuaipan communicates with the servers hosted at http://kuaipan.cn.

While Ubuntu's servers, hosted at http://one.ubuntu.com use 256-bit encryption, Kuaipan uses an unguarded internet connection. Using Kuaipan would be heck as scary for people who upload their personal data to the cloud.

While the promise of 1 TB does look alluring, do note that Kuaipan is hosted in mainland China, not Hong Kong. China's national internet censoring system, often dubbed as the Great Firewall of China, will have access to your data. Hong Kong and Macau, being SARs or Special Administrative Regions fall out of the censoring policy.

I'd suggest you use something like a VPN to hide your IP from Kuaipan, and not use that 1-2 TB to store sensitive data. Avoid making it your primary cloud service, and specially restrict it's access to your PC as long as their security encryption stays like this.

P.S. Just because Ubuntu Kylin is bundled with Kuaipan does not mean that Canonical endorses it. You are left to use Kuaipan at your own risk.

About encryption: A screenshot from Safari for iOS. The padlock with the omnibox displays that encryption is available.

Ubuntu One:enter image description here

Kuaipan: enter image description here

You can try this with any good browser and yet you'll fail to find any encryption on Kuaipan. Even if there is, it uses a certificate which is not verified by a global authority like VeriSign, Thawte, Entrust etc.

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  • Would you elaborate how do you know that KuaiPan uses an “ungarded connection”? I'm still wondering this because there is no information I can find/understand. It seems natural to rise suspicions whenever a company offers no explicit information regarding how they manage stored data. However, I don't speak Chinese and so I'm not quite sure if there is such info. On the other hand, I disagree with you on the point of “endorsement”: Canonical states that they've “worked closely with Kingsoft“. For me that means that Kingsoft is somehow trustworthy; otherwise they wouldn't work together. – Ed Villegas Apr 17 '14 at 23:49
  • The home page (at least) isn't HTTPS, which might raise some questions. – saiarcot895 Apr 17 '14 at 23:51
  • Browsers like Chrome or Firefox display a padlock in case the connection is encrypted, but this is not the case with Kuaipan. And though Canonical iscollaborating with Kingsoft, in case of any disputes Canonical will not be held liable. – Mayukh Nair Apr 18 '14 at 23:24
  • See my edits. And yeah, about trustworthy: even Steve Jobs collaborated with John Sculley on trust and yet they fell out. That does not mean that endorsement means you should place trust on a platform. There are hundreds of companies who collaborated and then fell out, like VW and Suzuki, or Apple and another company which made iPod compatible Windows software. – Mayukh Nair Apr 19 '14 at 7:36
  • @EdVillegas So what have you planned? Have you decided to try Kuaipan? THat, of course, is as you wish but do remember, there's always a chance that there may be an attack on those servers by hackers (or the government) and Kingsoft could do little to protect your data in such moments. The reason you should still stick to Dropbox, Drive, iCloud is not because they are more popular names, but because they have 24-hour security teams, tried-and-tested encryption, technology that gets routinely patched to prevent attacks like Heartbleed and have faced thousands of attacks. – Mayukh Nair Apr 20 '14 at 0:04

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