Notebook PEA - Text Editor with Password Encryption
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.
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at best outdated or questionable standards.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 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 1.0Change 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)
Hash function: Blake2b
MD5 checksum: 86830f517d8f28e78d02e24ee2d3ff18
MD5 checksum: 70dd503e6731e8ed24789e5573b4c6cd
Downloads for other Cryptographic Primitives:
Key Derivation - Cipher - Hash (zip file)
- Scrypt - AES - SHA512
- Catena-Butterfly - Threefish - Blake2b
- Pomelo - AES - SHA512
- Bcrypt - Twofish - Skein
- For usability reasons the paramter garlic for the key derivation function Catena-Dragonfly was reduced
of the actually recommended value of 22 to 18.
If you accept longer execution times (more than 10 seconds) for the benefit of security, can download the following PEA:
Catena-Dragonfly (garlic = 22) - Threefish - Blake2b
checked the version 1.0 for adware, spyware, viruses, backdoors...
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.