ProtonMail, a Switzerland-based encrypted email service, has announced that it will be leaving beta and that it is now accepting open registrations for the first time in two years.
A group of scientists who met at CERN and MIT first created the email service back in May 2014. Since then, the company has raised $500K in crowd-funding, a record when it comes to software technology, and it has received $2 million in financing from a number of different entities including the government of Switzerland.
ProtonMail features end-to-end encryption, which makes it difficult for governments and other prying eyes to gain access to user messages. ProtonMail co-founder Dr. Andy Yen feels it is this feature that makes the email service an integral component in the fight for email users’ security and privacy.
“Strong encryption and privacy are a social and economic necessity, not only does this technology protect activists and dissidents, it is also key to securing the world’s digital infrastructure,” says Yen in a press release on the company’s blog. “This is why all things considered, strong encryption is absolutely necessary for the greater good.”
Three days after ProtonMail first launched, it instituted a waiting list after it began receiving requests for 10,000 new usernames a day.
Even so, the reputation of the service has continued to grow, with the email service even being featured on the American television show Mr. Robot.
This reputation attracted the attention of bad actors in the fall of 2015 when ProtonMail experienced two sustained distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Though the email service was forced to go temporarily offline, Alex Rosier, Head of Communications at ProtonMail, explains that the DDoS campaigns only made the company stronger.
“With the support of our user community which raised over $50,000 in 3 days, we were able to successfully defeat the DDoS attack against us, which was one of the largest in Europe, even impacting the Internet in distant places like Moscow,” Rosier notes in an email to The State of Security. “The DDoS attacks did not manage to do permanent damage to ProtonMail, and we have learned from the experience to greatly strength our infrastructure.”
To learn more about ProtonMail, including how to register for a free account, click here.
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