With over 15 million users per month, the Pastebin site is not an unknown name in the tech world. It’s certainly not new to hackers. The site is used for sharing plain text as public content, which is also called the pastes.
Now you must be wondering, what makes this so special in the online world and why do people use it? So here is a little background check for that! The Pastebin got its inspiration (and need) from the IRC, or Instant Relay Chat. The IRC was an app launched back in 1988 that was used for communicating in real-time, specifically code blocks. Users can easily open public chats to find anything relevant or worth reading.
Now, you may see the problem here. Using IRC to share or send the code blocks directly was a bit troublesome. It disrupted the message flow and might lead to the code itself changing. That’s when Pastebin emerged as the one and the only solution to share such content.
The Pastebin website was launched as a third-party site to give people options to share their code blocks, and the link for that code could be sent to others who could access it and even edit it. Since the launch of the original Pastebin site, many other similar sites have also been launched. However, hackers still prefer to use it as the best platform to share their codes.
As much as it has proved to be the best platform for text sharing, it also has given rise to illegal activities. The reasons for this are very clear. Keep reading to know how a text sharing website became one of the best hackers’ resources.
How Do You Use Pastebin?
Using Pastebin isn’t some ninja science; it is simply like sharing document links on Google Docs, similar to copy and paste.
All you have to do is:
- Copy the text you want to share on Pastebin from your computer or any source (there is no limit on the word count)
- Now, go to the pastebin.com website. Please note that Pastebin might be blocked in your area by national firewalls. In that case, we suggest using a VPN.
- Next, paste the copied text in the given box for text. Then click the submit (or paste) button.
- Now the browser will redirect you to a different online page where you’ll find the link (URL) for sharing your text with others.
- Copy that URL and post/send it to people who you want to share the text with.
Note that, if you want a little more anonymity, we recommend using a VPN for that as well.
Why do hackers use Pastebin?
This website was supposed to serve users’ needs by providing a platform for sharing text files (just like Google Docs and Word Online), uploading a tweet that’s over 140 characters, and uploading code for sharing or collaboration purposes. However, hackers took advantage of the service and turned this sharing website into a hackers’ hangout.
The website also features some illegal activities such as sharing sensitive information and breached confidential data, posting of dark websites and spammed site promotions.
Now the question is, why is Pastebin a hacker’s favorite place to carry out their nefarious activities? The answer to this question is Pastebin’s ease of use.
This site is very user-friendly and requires no user registration. If you get a VPN, then anonymous posting is not a biggie either. It’s easy to see why this would be a hackers’ hub.
Also, there are no predefined criteria to remove adverse posts. Pastebin relies on user reporting, meaning that illegal and inappropriate posts are not immediately removed from the website.
Many large companies have suffered at the hands of Pastebin. Sony pictures, InfraGard Amazon Ring, Facebook, and Google have all been victims of Pastebin for obvious reasons!
Is Pastebin anonymous?
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately) yes! You can log in to Pastebin through some social media platforms, then open and edit your previous posts. However, posts can still be done anonymously.
It’s critical for hackers to maintain a low-key profile and keep their identity hidden. But again, how do they get to attack other computers and deliver their hack codes without being openly online? This is where Pastebin comes in to play.
Paste bin has been the best place for the infamous Anonymous, a group of hacktivists known for carrying out DDoS attacks on various governments and companies, and other groups of hackers (or individual hackers as well) who aim for anonymity.
What is Pastebin Reddit?
As you are probably aware, Reddit is a go-to place when you need an opinion or advice (or their infamous roasts) on a topic. The same goes for Pastebin. The biggest trending topic is around the basic question: whether to share your data on “pastebin.com” or not.
There is a diverse range of opinions about Pastebin on Reddit. Some claim it to be the best place to share new text or code and recommend it even for the moderators on Reddit. On the other hand, some Reddit users advise others not to share anything sensitive or something they don’t want others to access. That is fair enough, though!
What is Termbin?
Termbin, is very similar to Pastebin and is a Pastebin alternative, but for terminal or command prompt outputs.
This open-source application service features NetCat and mainly uses socket programming to work.
Termbin allows system administrators to store system outputs or debug issues easily. When users have a problem, they share their errors online using Termbin so that specialists and experts can identify the error in syntax and resolve it.
The only prerequisite to use Termbin is Netcat. You can check if you have Netcat by just typing the “nc” command on your terminal. If you don’t have Netcat, don’t worry, it is available for almost all operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
Also, it is a little more secure than Pastebin as the lifespan of the posts is only one month. Posts older than 30 days are deleted.
It is safe to conclude that Pastebin has been misappropriated and is now used for a completely different purpose from that it was initially intended. It has become more of a hacktivist’s clearinghouse rather than a simple text or code-sharing site, and history has shown enough. Not only do hackers share their new codes, they also search for old stuff that may still work for them.
With that being said, it is recommended, for obvious reasons, to use other sites that are similar to Pastebin, but are better overall. Some of the best alternatives to Pastebin are Privatebin and Just Paste Me, as these are less prone to data breaches and other illegal activities. If you are looking for a service like Pastebin for your terminal, the best option is Termbin.