PrivateBin - Ignorance is a blessing

Date of publication

"Ignorance is a blessing" is the slogan of this free and open source software. In this article, we show you how to use PrivateBin to share passwords with third parties who cannot communicate with you via encrypted channels.

The problem

Each user account should have its own password. The passwords should not be simple and often contain special characters and combinations of upper and lower case letters. If you communicate these passwords with third parties who, for example, do not know how to encrypt e-mails, the only option is often the telephone, a fax or the urgent message that the simple password just communicated must be changed immediately to a complicated one. Guess what usually does not happen?

So how can we ensure security and still communicate in a simple way?

The solution

This is where PrivateBin comes into play. This FOS software runs on its own infrastructure and does not store anything in plain text. In concrete terms, this means that no information is stored in plain text on the server and thus no information is leaked even if the server is taken over by hackers.

We create a new bin, put our sensitive information into it, give the bin a simple password that can be communicated by phone, for example, and send the URL to the bin to our communication partners by email or chat (or fax if necessary).

The bin can be configured so that it destroys itself after the first opening. If the message is intercepted on the communication path and the bin is opened by unauthorised persons, the person with whom we want to communicate securely receives an error message when the bin is called.

As we have already communicated this possible behaviour, we receive feedback from our communication partners that the password will be compromised and can assign a new one.

So far and so simple.

The following is a short screencast.

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DeepL is a deep learning company that develops AI systems for languages. The company, based in Cologne, Germany, was founded in 2009 as Linguee, and introduced the first internet search engine for translations. Linguee has answered over 10 billion queries from more than 1 billion users.

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Stephan Luckow

Stephan is an open source evangelist and constantly curious about technologies. Thematically, his blog posts can best be summarised as "curiosity satisfied".