File Transfer Protocol: A White Paper

File Transfer Protocol: A White Paper

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File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is an application layer protocol, which has the primary function of transferring data files between computers (Clark 2003). The protocol specification was originally developed in the early 1970s, and was published as RFC 114 in April 1971, by Abhay Bhushan. This occurred even before the Internet Protocol Suite – commonly known as TCP/IP or Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP) – was even established (Kozierok 2005).
The protocol specification has undergone numerous revisions over the years since its first inception. In July 1972, the first major revision was published as RFC 354. This revision included a complete description of the “overall communication model used by modern . . . [Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)] . . . and details on many of the current features of the protocol” (Kozierok 2005, 1170). A revision titled RFC 542, which was published in August 1973, has a striking resemblance to the protocol specification that is still in use today. RFC 765 was published in June 1980, and is considered to be the current authority of today’s FTP specification standards (Kozierok 2005).
Quite a few extensions have been developed since, most notably RFC 2228, which calls for additional security extensions that aim to “provide strong authentication, integrity, and confidentiality” into the FTP specification (Horowitz 1997, 1). RFC 2428, published in September 1998, calls for FTP extensions that can accommodate for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and Network Address Translators (NATs). Historically, Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses have used a 32-bit addressing scheme, whereas IPv6 uses a 128-bit addressing scheme. As the world converts from IPv4 to IPv6, th...


... middle of paper ...


...y with the added security (Leiden 2009).



Works Cited

Allman, M., Ostermann, S., and C. Metz. "FTP Extensions for IPv6 and NATs", RFC 2428. September 1998.
Clark, Martin P.. Data Networks, IP, and the Internet: Protocols, design, and operation. Chichester, West Sussex, England: J. Wiley, 2003.
Forouzan, Behrouz A.. TCP/IP protocol suite . 4th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2010.
Horowitz, M. and S. Lunt. “FTP Security Extensions”, RFC 2228. October 1997.
Kozierok, Charles M. The TCP/IP Guide: A comprehensive, illustrated Internet protocols reference. San Francisco: No Starch Press, 2005.
Leiden, Candace, and Marshall Wilensky. TCP/IP For Dummies. 6th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2009.
Lowe, Doug. Networking All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies. 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2008.
Postel, J., "File Transfer Protocol specification", RFC 765. June 1980.

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