Notebook PEA - Text Editor with Password Encryption

Pea with lock

Notebook PEA

Password Encryption Archive (PEA)

Type: Self Decryption Archive,
Encryption Program for Text password encryption, text encryption, notebook, notes

Available languages: english, german

Download Version 1.0: Notebook PEA 1.0 as zip file

Screenshots: password dialog, Notebook PEA,

Used library: Bouncy Castle lightweight cryptography API

Current version: 1.0 (stable)

Requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or OpenJDK 6 or higher

Size: about 250 KiB

Cryptographic Algorithms:
  • Key derivation:
    • Catena-Dragonfly
    • Catena-Butterfly
    • Scrypt
    • Pomelo
    • Bcrypt
  • Cipher in EAX mode:
    • AES
    • Threefish
    • Twofish
  • Hash function:
    • AES
    • Threefish
    • Twofish

OS: Linux, BSD, Windows, Mac and any OS with JVM

Author:

Published:

License: Gnu Public License

Source code (download): Notebook PEA 1.0 as zip file

Review of , 2016-06-25, at
, 18.05.2016, at ,
, 26.06.2016, at ,

Encrypted Notes

Protect your private notes with your password.
Notebook PEA provides a simple text editor to display and modify encrypted text files.
Unlike file encryption programs, the text is never stored unencrypted on your disk (except you explicitly decide to do that). The plaintext exists only in the RAM.
Since Notebook PEA version 1.0 you can manage multiple text files in tabs, if you use the same password. Texts are only decrypted in RAM, if they are currently displayed.

password dialog Password Dialog to open Notebook PEA

Although there are many good programs for this purpose, the main weakness of password encryption applications - the key derivation function - is often rarely observed and most programs are using at best outdated or questionable standards. These key derivation functions are particularly vulnerable to custom hardware attacks.
Notebook PEA uses as default key derivation function Catena-Dragonfly which was given special recognition of the Password Hashing Competition 2015.

Unlike most other programs, Notebook PEA uses authenticated encryption (EAX mode) and thus provides confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of the text.

notebook (editor frame) Notebook PEA

Notebook PEA offers a simple text editor with some styling functionality, redo/undo and copy, cut, paste commands, the possibility to change the password or to store the text unencrypted. The text is handled in rich text format (RTF).

Version 1.0

Change Log (from version 0.2 (stable) to version 1.0):
  • Several text files can now be managed simultaneously, without restarting the program or re-entering the password.
  • Small changes in appearance.
  • A wait cursor indicates that the program is working.
  • fix of small errors (position of dialogs, space deleted in path file, width of password generator...)

Download of Notebook PEA 1.0:

Key derivation function: Catena-Dragonfly (garlic 18)
Cipher: Threefish
Hash function: Blake2b
(Size: 226 KiB)
MD5 checksum: 86830f517d8f28e78d02e24ee2d3ff18
SHA-256: 7eb4e0e0ef9bfffdc55019d4afad510bd8bb68e3206786a4f493143826a991e8
(Size: 226 KiB)
MD5 checksum: 70dd503e6731e8ed24789e5573b4c6cd
SHA-256: 7b7419a7b94cee1b72f40c9ce6b9304b096aded651c2640fed2fe587dea722d9
Downloads for other Cryptographic Primitives:
Key Derivation - Cipher - Hash (zip file)
Donation

There is no donation campaign for this application. If you would like to donate for this application, please donate to one of the following organizations instead:

Softpedia, download3k and FileCluster checked the version 1.0 for adware, spyware, viruses, backdoors...
Old versions:

If you're unhappy with the notebook PEA, take a look at the alternatives (other open source programs for similar purposes).

How to use

Start the Jar Archive

You need OpenJDK, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) or something similar. On most systems there is at least one available.
These PEAs are single Java jar archives, a file with the extension "jar". If you are familiar with jar archives, you can skip the following part.

Linux, BSD systems and Mac OS and other UNIX like systems: unpack the compressed download file (tar or unzip), store it for example in your home folder, change in the directory in konsole and type: java -jar YOUR_ARCHIVE.jar.
There is also a script file called unix_start.sh to start the Notebook PEA (maybe you have to make it executable).

Windows: Normally you can open the jar archive just by a double click. You can also use the terminal, change in the directory or your archive and type java -jar YOUR_ARCHIVE.jar.
There is also a file called windows_start.bat which should start the Notebook PEA by a double click.

notebook (editor frame) Initializing Notebook PEA
Initialization: First Start

The first time you start the notebook PEA, you have to initialize. You are asked for a password and a location for the encrypted rtf file.

In order to be able to manage several files at the same time with the same Notebook PEA, a previously encrypted text file must be displayed in the password dialog. If this is not the case, a different salt is created for the file, which does not allow a shared opening even with the same password.
The problem does not occur, if the question about remembering the file name is answered with Yes.

If several files are selected at the same time in the initial dialog, the password is only checked for the first selected file. Files encrypted with a different password are displayed as tabs, but can not be opened.

Use cases

You can use Notebook PEA for any purpose where texts needed to be encrypted, modified and displayed. However for two scenarios Notebook PEA is not well suited: for communication and as password manager.

Self-Decrypting Archives for Communication

You can use self-decrypting archives like the Notebook PEA for communication, but this is a bad replacement for public key encryption, which is used for example in GnuPG for mail encryption.
There are mainly two reasons, why self-decrypting archives normally should not be used for communication:

  1. Most of the passwords are much less secure than (randomly chosen) cryptographic keys. Although it is generally possible to choose secure passwords, in practise this is very rarely the case. There are several password cracker programs (see Links) and it is very likely, that they will succeed for the vast majority of passwords - even if this would take a long time. In contrast, public key cryptography seems actually secure as long as the keys are long enough.
  2. You have to share the password. In public key cryptography you can publish your public key, but for self-decrypting archives you have to tell your conversation partner the password first.

You can store your passwords in the Notebook PEA, but there are many open source programs which are better suited for this specific purpose. Look for password managers.

PeaFactory

Pea Producing Factory

Notebook PEA is part of the PeaFactory, a program to produce password encrypting archives for several purposes.
Like the Notebook PEA PeaFactory is open source and is available at the PeaFactory Website. With PeaFactory you can create Notebook PEAs with much more cryptographic algorithms, Notebook PEAs with a key file property and also PEAs for file and folder encryption or secret images.