PrivateBin

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Current version: 1.1.1

PrivateBin is a minimalist, open source online pastebin where the server has zero knowledge of pasted data.

Data is encrypted/decrypted in the browser using 256bit AES in Galois Counter mode.

This is a fork of ZeroBin, originally developed by S├ębastien Sauvage. It was refactored to allow easier and cleaner extensions and has now much more features than the original. It is however still fully compatible to the original ZeroBin 0.19 data storage scheme. Therefore such installations can be upgraded to this fork without losing any data.

What PrivateBin provides

  • As a server administrator you don't have to worry if your users post content that is considered illegal in your country. You have no knowledge of any of the pastes content. If requested or enforced, you can delete any paste from your system.

  • Pastebin-like system to store text documents, code samples, etc.

  • Encryption of data sent to server.

  • Possibility to set a password which is required to read the paste. It further protects a paste and prevents people stumbling upon your paste's link from being able to read it without the password.

What it doesn't provide

  • As a user you have to trust the server administrator, your internet provider and any country the traffic passes not to inject any malicious javascript code. For a basic security the PrivateBin installation has to provide HTTPS! Additionally it should be secured by HSTS and ideally by HPKP using a certificate either validated by a trusted third party (check the certificate when first using a new PrivateBin instance) or self-signed by the server operator, validated using a DNSSEC protected DANE record.

  • The "key" used to encrypt the paste is part of the URL. If you publicly post the URL of a paste that is not password-protected, everybody can read it. Use a password if you want your paste to be private. In this case make sure to use a strong password and do only share it privately and end-to-end-encrypted.

  • A server admin might be forced to hand over access logs to the authorities. PrivateBin encrypts your text and the discussion contents, but who accessed it first might still be disclosed via such access logs.

  • In case of a server breach your data is secure as it is only stored encrypted on the server. However the server could be misused or the server admin could be legally forced into sending malicious JavaScript to all web users, which grabs the decryption key and send it to the server when a user accesses a PrivateBin.
    Therefore do not access any PrivateBin instance if you think it has been compromised. As long as no user accesses this instance with a previously generated URL, the content can't be decrypted.

Options

Some features are optional and can be enabled or disabled in the configuration file:

  • Password protection

  • Discussions, anonymous or with nicknames and IP based identicons or vizhashes

  • Expiration times, including a "forever" and "burn after reading" option

  • Markdown format support for HTML formatted pastes, including preview function

  • Syntax highlighting for source code using prettify.js, including 4 prettify themes

  • File upload support, images get displayed (disabled by default, possibility to adjust size limit)

  • Templates: By default there are bootstrap CSS, darkstrap and "classic ZeroBin" themes and it is easy to adapt these to your own websites layout or create your own.

  • Translation system and automatic browser language detection (if enabled in browser)

  • Language selection (disabled by default, as it uses a session cookie)

Further resources

Run into any issues? Have ideas for further developments? Please report them!