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Your Security and Mozilla Hubs


Mozilla and the Hubs team takes internet security seriously. We do our best to follow best practices for web security and securing data. This post will provide an overview of how we secure access to your rooms and your data.

Room Authentication

In the most basic scenario, only people who know the URL of your room can access your room. We use randomly generated strings in the URLs to obfuscate the URLs. If you need more security in your room, then you can limit your room to only allow users with Hubs accounts to join (usually, anyone can join regardless of account status). This is a server-wide setting, so you have to run your own Hubs Cloud instance to enable this setting.

You can also make rooms “invite only” which generates an additional key that needs to be used on the link to allow access. While the room ID can’t be changed, an “invite only” key can be revoked and regenerated, allowing you to revoke access to certain users.

Discord OAuth Integration

Alternatively, users can create a room via the Hubs Discord bot, and the room becomes bound to the security context of that Discord. In this scenario, a user’s identity is tied to their identity in Discord, and they only have access to rooms that are tied to channels they have access to. Users with “modify channel” permissions in Discord get corresponding “room owner” permissions in Hubs, which allows them to change room settings and kick users out of the room. For example, if I am a member of the private channel #standup, and there is a room tied to that channel, only members of that channel (including me) are allowed in the associated room. Anyone attempting to access the room will first need to authenticate via Discord.

How we secure your data

We collect minimal data on users. For any data that we do collect, all database data and backups are encrypted at rest. Additionally, we don’t store raw emails in our database--this means we can’t retrieve your email, we can only check to see if the email you enter for log in is in our database. All data is stored on a private subnet and is not accessible via the internet.

For example, let’s go through what happens when a user uploads a file inside a room. First, the user uploads a personal photo to the room to share with others. This generates a URL via a unique key, which is passed to all other users inside the room. Even if others find the URL of the file, they cannot decrypt the photo without this key (including the server operator!). The photo owner can choose to pin the photo to the room, which saves the encryption key in a database with the encrypted file. When you visit the room again, you can access the file, because the key is shared with room visitors. However, if the file owner leaves the room without pinning the photo, then the photo is considered ‘abandoned data’ and the key is erased. This means that no users can access the file anymore, and the data is erased within 72 hours.

All data is encrypted in transit via TLS. We do not currently support end-to-end encryption.

Hubs Cloud Security

When you deploy your own Hubs Cloud instance, you have full control over the instance and its data via AWS or DigitalOcean infrastructure--Mozilla simply provides the template and automatic updates. Therefore, you can integrate your own security measures and technology as you like. Everyone’s use case is different. Hubs cloud is an as-is product, and we’re unable to predict the performance as you make changes to the template.

Server access is limited by SSH and sometimes two-factor authentication. For additional security, you can set stack template rules to restrict which IP addresses can SSH into the server.

How do we maintain Hubs Cloud with the latest security updates

We automatically update packages for security updates, and update our version in a monthly cadence, but if there’s a security issue exposed (either in our software or third party software), we can immediately update all stacks. We inherit our network architecture from AWS, which includes load balancing and DDoS protection.

Your security on the web is non-negotiable. Between maintaining security updates, authenticating users, and encrypting data at rest and in transit, we prioritize our users security needs. For any additional questions, please reach out to us. To contribute to Hubs, visit https://github.com/mozilla/hubs.