Zerobin, Open Source Pastebin Alternative With Client-Side Encryption

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 13, 2012
Updated • Apr 13, 2012

Pastebin is a free service on the Internet that lets you paste and publish text contents easily. Accounts are not required for basic functionality, and there are features such as syntax highlighting available when code is pasted and published on the site.

Zerobin is a new open source Pastebin alternative that is currently available as an alpha version. One of the big differences between the two services is that Zerobin encrypts contents on the client side before they are send to the server. This basically means that the server has no information of the contents of the text that is stored on it.

When you load the Zerobin website you are presented with a big text field that you can paste contents in / type text in, an expiration menu and a send button. Once you have added the text, you select one of the available expiration options (never, 10 minutes, 1 hour, 1day, 1 month, 1 year) and hit the send button afterwards.

You then receive the url that is pointing to the text. This address includes the encryption key that is needed to decrypt the message. Users who do not have the key cannot encrypt the message. There is also an option to shorten that long url, which may be useful before posting it on Twitter or another external site. The data is compressed and encrypted with a 256bit AES algorithm in the browser.

The project website details how Zerobin works.  The url that points to the text basically consists of a unique identifier that is stored on the server, and the encryption key that is used to encrypt the test in the browser before it is uploaded to the server. The server has knowledge of the unique identifier but not the encryption key.

The developer plans to integrate syntax highlighting, which is missing at the moment, and password protection to the service. It also needs to be noted that the current implementation is experimental in nature, and that data uploaded to the server may be deleted at any point in time.


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  1. loams said on September 9, 2021 at 11:34 am

    great post

  2. Diego Souza said on August 1, 2021 at 12:50 am

    Very good!

    Today I use the TextBin website to share text snippets and code online

  3. jonjo smith said on April 5, 2014 at 3:40 am
    Reply Just Paste It!

  4. Jason Donovon said on April 17, 2012 at 5:24 am
    Reply provides the same service, supports syntax highlighting, and they are about to provide all the source code

    1. sebsauvage said on April 17, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Yes… I learned about ezcrypt a few days after publishing ZeroBin.
      ezcrypt provides 128 AES and is nice too.

      There is also but it only uses old DES (which can be broken in 3 days with hardware build by EFF.)

      But wait… ZeroBin has a new killer upcoming feature :-) You’ll love it, I promise.

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