Blogs

Tor Weekly News — March 5th, 2014

Welcome to the ninth issue of Tor Weekly News in 2014, the weekly newsletter that covers what is happening in the Tor community.

Tor 0.2.4.21 is out

Roger Dingledine announced the release of Tor 0.2.4.21, whose major new feature is the forced inclusion of at least one NTor-capable relay in any given three-hop circuit as a defence against adversaries who might be able to break 1024-bit encryption; this feature was first seen in the latest alpha release (0.2.5.2-alpha) three weeks ago, but is here incorporated into the current stable series.

You can find full details of this release’s other features and bugfixes in Roger’s announcement.

Tor in Google Summer of Code 2014

As has been the case over the past several years, Tor will once again be participating in Google’s annual Summer of Code program — aspiring software developers have the chance to work on a Tor-related project with financial assistance from Google and expert guidance from a core Tor Project member. Several prospective students have already contacted the community with questions about the program, and Damian Johnson took to the Tor Blog to give a brief summary of what students can expect from the Summer of Code, and what the Tor Project expects from its students.

In particular, Damian encouraged potential applicants to discuss their ideas with the community on the tor-dev mailing list or IRC channel before submitting an application: “Communication is essential to success in the summer of code, and we’re unlikely to accept students we haven’t heard from before reading their application.”

If you are hoping to contribute to Tor as part of the Summer of Code program, please have a look through Damian’s advice and then, as he says, “come to the list or IRC channel and talk to us!”

Two ways to help with Tails development

One of the most interesting upcoming additions to the Tails operating system is the ability to thwart attempts at tracking the movements of network-enabled devices by spoofing the MAC address on each boot. As part of the testing process for this new feature, the Tails developers have released an experimental disk image which turns it on by default, alongside a step-by-step guide to trying it out and reporting any issues encountered. However, as the developers state, “this is a test image. Do not use it for anything other than testing this feature.” If you are willing to take note of this caveat, please feel free to download the test image and let the community know what you find.

Turning to the longer-term development of the project, the team also published a detailed set of guidelines for anyone who wants to help improve Tails itself by contributing to the development of Debian, the operating system on which Tails is based. They include advice on the relationship between the two distributions, tasks in need of attention, and channels for discussing issues with the Tails community; if you are keen on the idea of helping two free-software projects at one stroke, please have a look!

Monthly status reports for February 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the month of February has begun. Georg Koppen released his report first, followed by reports from Sherief Alaa, Pearl Crescent, Nick Mathewson, Colin C., Lunar, Kelley Misata, Damian Johnson, George Kadianakis, Philipp Winter, and Karsten Loesing.

Lunar also reported on behalf of the help desk, while Mike Perry did the same on behalf of the Tor Browser team , and Arturo Filastò for the OONI team.

Miscellaneous news

Members of the Prosecco research team released a new attack on the TLS protocol — dubbed “Triple Handshake” — allowing impersonation of a given client when client authentication is in use together with session resumption and renegotiation. Nick Mathewson published a detailed analysis of why Tor is not affected, and also outlines future changes to make Tor resistant to even more potential TLS issues.

Mike Perry announced the start of a weekly Tor Browser developer’s meeting, to be held on #tor-dev on irc.oftc.net. These meetings are tentatively scheduled for 19:00 UTC on Wednesdays. Details on the format and flow of the meetings can be found on the tor-dev and tbb-dev mailing lists.

Roger Dingledine and Nick Mathewson were among the signatories of an open letter published by the EFF which offers ten principles for technology companies to follow in protecting users from illegal surveillance.

Nick Mathewson also detailed a change in the way that the core Tor development team will use the bugtracker’s “milestone” feature to separate tickets marked for resolution in a given Tor version from those that can be deferred to a later release.

Nick then sent out the latest in his irregular series of Tor proposal status updates, containing summaries of each open proposal, guidance for reviewers, and notes for further work. If you'd like to help Tor’s development by working on one of these proposals, start here!

On the subject of proposals, two new ones were sent to the tor-dev list for review: proposal 228, which offers a way for relays to prove ownership of their onion keys as well as their identity key, and proposal 229 based on Yawning Angel’s unnumbered submission from last week, which concerns improvements to the SOCKS5 protocol for communication between clients, Tor, and pluggable transports.

Nicholas Merrill wrote to the Liberationtech list to announce that xmpp.net now lists XMPP servers that are reachable over hidden services, and that xmpp.net’s server scanner works with these as well.

Patrick Schleizer announced the release of version 8 of Whonix — an operating system focused on anonymity, privacy and security based on the Tor anonymity network, Debian and security by isolation. The curious should take a look at the long changelog.

Kelley Misata wrote up an account of her talk “Journalists — Staying Safe in a Digital World”, which she delivered at the Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference in Baltimore.

Having co-authored a paper in 2012 on usability issues connected with
the Tor Browser Bundle
, Greg Norcie drew attention to a follow-up study named Why Johnny Can’t Blow the Whistle,  which focuses on verifying the conclusions of the earlier tests while exploring a number of other possible usability improvements. The study was, however, carried out before the release of Tor Browser version 3, which improved the bundle’s usability based on earlier suggestions.

Mac OS X users will be thrilled to learn that the next Tor Browser Bundle will be shipped as a DMG (disk image) instead of the previous unusual .ZIP archive.

David Rajchenbach-Teller from Mozilla reached out to the Tor Browser developers about their overhaul of the Firefox Session Restore mechanism. This is another milestone in the growing collaboration between the Tor Project and Mozilla.

On the “anonymity is hard” front, David Fifield reported a fingerprinting issue on the Tor Browser. Fallback charsets can be used to learn the user locale as they vary from one to another. The next release of the Tor Browser will use “windows-1252” for all locales, as this matches the impersonated “User-Agent” string (Firefox — English version — on Windows) that it already sends in its HTTP headers.

Yawning Angel called for help in testing and reviewing obfsclient-0.0.1rc2, the second obfsclient release candidate this week: “assuming nothing is broken, this will most likely become v0.0.1, though I may end up disabling Session Ticket handshakes.”

David Fifield published a guide to patching meek, an HTTP pluggable transport, so that it can be used to send traffic via Lantern, a censorship circumvention system which “acts as an HTTP proxy and proxies your traffic through trusted friends.”

Fortasse started a discussion on tor-talk about using HTTPS Everywhere to redirect Tor Browser users to .onion addresses when available. Several people commented regarding the procedure, its security, or how it could turn the Tor Project or the EFF into some kind of registrar.

anonym has been busy adapting the configuration interface from the Tor Browser — called “Tor Launcher” — to Tails’ needs. Preliminary results can already be seen in the images built from the experimental branch.

Ramo wrote to announce their Nagios plugin project to the relay operator community. Lunar pointed out a complementary probe named
check_tor.py.

Virgil Griffith sent a draft proposal for changes to improve the latency of hidden services when using the “Tor2web” mode. Roger Dingledine commented that one of the proposed changes actually opened a new research question regarding the actual latency benefits.

David Goulet released the fourth candidate of his Torsocks rewrite. This new version comes after “a big code review from Nick and help from a lot of people contributing and testing”. But more reviews and testing are now welcome!

Tor help desk roundup

Often users email the help desk when the Tor Browser’s Tor client fails somehow. There are many ways for the Tor Browser to fail in such a way that the Tor log is inaccessible. Since antivirus programs, firewalls, system clock skew, proxied internet connections, and internet censorship have all been known to cause Tor failures, it is not always easy to determine the source of the problem. Thankfully, the Tor Browser team is working on making the logs easier to access in case of failures (#10059, #10603).

News from Tor StackExchange

Janice needs to be able to connect from an IP address in a specific city and wanted to know if Tor can be used to do so. Several users suggested that this is not possible with Tor. For city-level IP addresses, it might better to use other services like a proxy or a tunnel, provided one does not require anonymity.

The Tor Browser Bundle sets the default font to Times New Roman 16pt and allows pages to use their own fonts. User joeb likes to change the settings and wondered how this increases the possibility to fingerprint a user. gacar suggested that this will facilitate fingerprinting attacks. Several important sites use font probing to fingerprint their users, and changing the default fonts is likely to make a user stand out from the common anonymity set.

Kristopher Ives wondered if Tor uses some kind of compression. Several users searched the source code archives for “gzip” and found code which deals with directory information. Jens Kubieziel argued that Tor operates on encrypted data and compressing encrypted data usually results in a increase in size, so it makes no sense to compress this data.

Stackexchange uses bounties to award higher reputations to answers. By using this one can attract attention and get better answers or an answer at all. The question about using DNSSEC and DNScrypt over Tor is probably the first to receive a bounty: an answer to this question would be rewarded with 50 points. However, they have not been earned yet, so if you know an answer, please enlighten the rest of the community.


This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by harmony, Lunar, qbi, Matt Pagan, Karsten Loesing, Mike Perry, dope457, and Philipp Winter.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report important news. Please see the project page, write down your name and subscribe to the team mailing list if you want to get involved!

Tor in Google Summer of Code 2014

in

Interested in coding on Tor and getting paid for it by Google? If you are a student, we have good news for you: We have been accepted as a mentoring organisation for Google Summer of Code 2014 together with The Electronic Frontier Foundation!

Here are the facts: The summer of code gives you the opportunity to work on your own Tor-related coding project with one of the Tor developers as your mentor. You can apply for a coding project related to Tor itself or to one of its many supplemental projects. Your mentor will help you when you're stuck with your project and guide you in becoming part of the Tor community. Google pays you 5,500 USD for the three months of your project, so that you can focus on coding and don't have to worry about how to pay your bills.

Did we catch your attention? These are your next steps: Go look at the Google Summer of Code FAQ to make sure you are eligible to participate. Have a look at our ideas list to see if one of those projects matches your interests. If there is no project on that list that you'd want to work on, read the documentation on our website and make up your own project idea! Come to the tor-dev@ list or #tor-dev on OFTC and let us know about your project idea. Communication is essential to success in the summer of code, and we're unlikely to accept students we haven't heard from before reading their application. So really, come to the list or IRC channel and talk to us!

Finally, write down your project idea using our template and submit your application to Google before March 21.

We are looking forward to discussing your project idea with you!

Tor Weekly News — February 26th, 2014

Velkomin to the eighth issue of Tor Weekly News in 2014, the weekly newsletter that covers what is happening in the Tor community.

News from the 2014 Winter Developers’ Meeting in Reykjavík

Since 2010, the Tor Project’s core contributors have tried to meet twice a year to enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company and move projects forward through face-to-face discussions and hacking time. This year, close to forty people attended the 2014 winter dev. meeting, which was held in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The team discussed over forty topics ranging from organizational matters to highly technical design decisions. Among the highlights: many sessions were focused on discussing and producing roadmaps — a mid-term vision for the Tor Browser, a step-by-step plan for the Tor Instant Messaging Bundle, detailed ideas for new bridge bundles, ways to solve the research problems around guard nodes, and how to plan little-t tor releases.

The meeting also enabled cross-team communication: pluggable transports developers were able to discuss integration into the Tor Browser and the lifecycle of recommended transports, while the Tor Browser group and the support teams met to see how to improve communications on both sides. One outcome is a plan to remix existing documentation to create the Tor Browser User Manual.

Two days of intense discussion were followed by hands-on sessions which saw their fair share of hacking and write-ups.

Some of the minutes are still missing, but there is already plenty to read. Now that the developers have had to stop contemplating the Northern Lights, some discussions are already continuing on the project’s various mailing lists. Stay tuned!

Miscellaneous news

Karsten Loesing  announced an IRC meeting to discuss the next steps for the rewrite of Tor Weather, to be held on the OFTC #tor-dev channel on Wednesday 26th February at 18:00 UTC. “Topics include reporting progress made since the last meeting two weeks ago, making plans for the next week, and possibly turning this project into a GSoC project”.

Nick Mathewson announced the start of a weekly Tor developer’s meeting, to be held on the OFTC #tor-dev channel, “for working on the program ‘tor’. (This won’t cover all the other programs developed under the Tor umbrella.)” .

The Tails developers will be holding their next contributors’ meeting on the OFTC #tails-dev channel at 9pm UTC on March 5th; “everyone interested in contributing to Tails is welcome.” .

Andrew Lewman submitted his monthly status report for January, and also wrote up a report of his involvement in the recent Boston CryptoParty.

Alexander Dietrich published a multi-instance init script for Tor (“basically the current official init script and torservers.net’s “instances” mechanism frankensteined together”, in Alexander’s words) in response to a recent discussion on tor-relays.

Responding to a message from someone interested in writing a DNS-based pluggable transport, George Kadianakis suggested several ways in which the existing obfsproxy code could be reworked to accommodate this.

George also recommended that operators of obfs3 or ScrambleSuit bridges install the python-gmpy package on their relays, as it can significantly increase the speed of some cryptographic operations.

Jens Kubieziel wrote up the results of an attempt to determine whether the recent transition between the TAP and NTor handshake protocols is connected to some users’ reports of hidden service unavailability.

Max Jakob Maass published the preliminary results of a test in which the RIPE Atlas measurement API was used to retrieve the SSL certificate of torproject.org from as many countries as possible in order to detect attempted attacks or censorship, and wondered whether it might be worth running such a test on a regular basis.

With regard to a coming redesign of the “Volunteers” section on the Tor Project’s website, Moritz Bartl wrote up a list of proposed volunteer categories that was the fruit of a brainstorming session at the Tor developers’ meeting, and asked for suggestions of “obvious” missing sections, as well as “acceptably-licensed” graphics that could serve as icons for each category .

Nathan Freitas wrote from the Tor developers’ meeting with a request for help in compiling “user stories” on the Tor wiki: that is, stories of the form “a type of Tor user wants to some feature of a Tor app in order to some reason related to security, privacy, etc”. If you have any to add, please write them up on the dedicated wiki page!

Yawning Angel sent out a draft of a proposal to “extend the SOCKS5 protocol when communicating with pluggable transports to allow passing more per-bridge meta-data to the transport and returning more meaningful connection failure response codes back to Tor”.

Josh Ayers wrote to the Tor-ramdisk list suggesting possible ways to ensure that sufficient entropy is available to the kernel by the time tor-ramdisk generates its long-term keys.

Tor help desk roundup

A common question the help desk receives is how to respond to the Tor Browser Bundle’s download warning message. The message indicates that the Tor Browser Bundle only routes browser traffic through Tor, not traffic from any other application. For example, a PDF file that connects automatically to a URL will not route its traffic through Tor if the file is opened with an external application. An open bug ticket for improving this warning message has more information about the issue.


This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by harmony, Lunar, Matt Pagan, Nicolas Vigier, Roger Dingledine, and George Kadianakis.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report important news. Please see the project page, write down your name and subscribe to the team mailing list if you want to get involved!

Tor Weekly News — February 19th, 2014

Welcome to the seventh issue of Tor Weekly News in 2014, the weekly newsletter that covers what is happening in the inked Tor community.

Tor 0.2.5.2-alpha is out

Roger Dingledine announced the second alpha release in the Tor 0.2.5 series. As well as incorporating “all the fixes from 0.2.4.18-rc and 0.2.4.20, like the “poor random number generation” fix and the “building too many circuits” fix”, this release brings with it several new features of its own, among them the forced inclusion of at least one relay capable of the NTor handshake in every three-hop circuit, which should reduce the chance “that we’re building a circuit that’s worth attacking by an adversary who finds breaking 1024-bit crypto doable”, as Roger wrote.

You can read the full changelog in Roger’s announcement, and download the new release from the Tor Project website.

Tor Browser 3.5.2.1 is released

A new point release of the Tor Browser Bundle was put out on February 15th. A change in how Mozilla tags Firefox releases broke the localization of the browser interface. This release restores proper behavior for languages other than English.

Apart from the localization fix and the removal of unneeded libraries from the Windows bundles, no other changes have been made.

Help draft a proposal for partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation

The relationship between Tor users and the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia and related projects, is currently not as good as it could be: many Tor users feel they should be able to contribute to Wikipedia anonymously, while many Wikipedia editors are wary of dealing with a tool that could enable untraceable or unblockable vandalism of pages and articles.

As a prelude to resolving this conflict, Lane Rasberry has opened a discussion on the Wikimedia Foundation’s IdeaLab, a forum in which ideas can be discussed and debated before being collaboratively developed into full grant proposals. As Lane wrote, “persons using Tor (the anonymity network) should be able to create Wikipedia accounts and contribute to Wikipedia while logged into those accounts. Some technical problems currently disallow this and some social problems prevent the technical problems from being addressed. Anyone with a proposal of what kind of relationship Tor and the Wikimedia movement should have should describe it here.”

If you are interested in helping to resolve this issue, please see the IdeaLab page, and add your comments!

Only as good as your weakest transport?

Delton Barnes pointed out that although the ScrambleSuit pluggable transport protocol includes a certain amount of protection against active probing for bridges by censorship systems like the Chinese “Great Firewall”, bridge operators who run more vulnerable protocols like obfs3 alongside ScrambleSuit may be increasing the risk that censors will discover their relay and block connections to it of any kind.

In reply, Philipp Winter conceded that although the Chinese censorship system currently seems to block bridges by IP:port tuples, rather than by IP address alone, the mere presence of an easily-discoverable pluggable transport protocol (or a public relay) on a given machine makes it more likely that a censor will be motivated to try and defeat protections such as those offered by ScrambleSuit. “So you are right, only running ScrambleSuit gives your bridge more protection than running other protocols at the same time — at the cost of attracting less users, however”, he concluded.

Miscellaneous news

The Tails team has published its report for January 2014. A lot is happening in the growing community of Tails developers. Have a look!

Qingping Hou sent out the beginnings of a proposal to increase the speed of connections to Tor Hidden Services by using circuits of only five hops, and asked the community for feedback.

Yawning Angel called for help with testing obfsclient, a C++ pluggable transport client, and clarified the next steps in the development process.

David Fifield made available a second updated set of the experimental Tor Pluggable Transport Bundle with tor-fw-helper, which fixes several of the errors encountered in the first version.

Nick Mathewson called for help with reviewing proposal 227, which involves “extending the Tor consensus document to include digests of the latest versions of one or more package files, to allow software using Tor to determine its up-to-dateness, and help users verify that they are getting the correct software”.

Efforts to include the FTE protocol in the Tor Pluggable Transport Bundles have taken a step forward, as Kevin P. Dyer announced the release of a patch including fteproxy that not only works, but also builds deterministically, in keeping with the Tor Project’s focus on build security.

Rusty Bird announced the release of corridor, a Tor traffic whitelisting gateway. corridor will turn a Linux system into a router that “allows only connections to Tor relays to pass through (no clearnet leaks!)”. However, unlike transparent proxying solutions, “client computers are themselves responsible for torifying their own traffic.”

One relay operator was looking for an init.d script able to start multiple tor instances. Johannes Fürmann pointed out that one was available in the torservers.net Git repository.

TorBirdy, the Tor-enabling extension for the Thunderbird mail client, currently disables the automated account configuration system for security reasons. Progress is being made in changing the behavior to make it fit the expectations of Tor users.

Andrea Shepard submitted seven status reports, covering her activity since July 2013 (July, August, September, October, November, December, January).

Tor help desk roundup

Users often ask for help updating their Tor Browser Bundle. Some users download and try to run their new Tor Browser without first closing their current Tor Browser. This causes an error message, since Tor is already running. The Tor Browser Bundle update is not an upgrade that can be applied while Tor Browser is still running. Users must close their current Tor Browser before running their newly downloaded Tor Browser Bundle.


This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, harmony, and Matt Pagan.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report important news. Please see the project page, write down your name and subscribe to the team mailing list if you want to get involved!

Tor Browser 3.5.2.1 is released

The 3.5.2.1 release of the Tor Browser Bundle is now available on the Download page. You can also download the bundles directly from the distribution directory.

This release fixes the localization of the non-english bundles.

Please see the TBB FAQ listing for any issues you may have before contacting support or filing tickets. In particular, the TBB 3.x section lists common issues specific to the Tor Browser 3.x series.

Here is the list of changes since 3.5.2. The 3.x ChangeLog is also available.

  • All Platforms
    • Bug 10895: Fix broken localized bundles
  • Windows:
    • Bug 10323: Remove unneeded gcc/libstdc++ libraries from dist

Join us! The Tor Project Developer's Meeting - Reykjavik, Iceland - February 17 - 21, 2014

The Tor Project team will be in Reykjavik, Iceland February 17 thru 21 for our bi-annual developer's meeting.

It is going to be an exciting week so please consider joining us any number of the following public events:

Tuesday, 2/18, 8:00 pm
Crypto Party

Location: Multi-Kulti - http://www.multi-kulti.org

Wednesday, 2/19, 6:30 pm
Tor: Lessons Learned over the Past 12 Months

Roger Dingledine and Jacob Appelbaum will lead the conversation.
This evening event is being hosted by Reykjavik University.
Location: Reykjavik University - M101 - http://en.ru.is

Thursday, 2/20, 9:00 am
Digital Safety for Journalists - 1/2 Day Hands-on Workshop

Location: Grand Hotel - http://www.grand.is

Friday, 2/21, 9:30 am
PUBLIC Hack Day

Location: Grand Hotel - http://www.grand.is

For questions, please contact tor-assistants@torproject.org

Tor Weekly News — February 12th, 2014

Welcome to the sixth issue of Tor Weekly News in 2014, the weekly newsletter that covers what is happening in the Tor community.

Tails 0.22.1 is out

The Tails team cut its 36th release on February 4th. Their Debian-based live operating system continues to provide anonymity by ensuring that all outgoing connections are routed through Tor, and privacy by ensuring that no traces are left without the user’s knowledge.

Tails 0.22.1 contains security fixes to Firefox, NSS, and Pidgin. It also brings an updated Linux kernel and several fixes for regressions and small issues.

While advertised as a minor version, the new incremental upgrades are a major usability improvement. Previously, upgrading Tails basically meant installing Tails again by downloading the image and putting it on a DVD or a USB stick. Users who store persistent data in their Tails instance then had to use this new medium to upgrade the stick with their data. A tedious process, to say the least. Now, with incremental upgrades, Tails users with USB sticks will be prompted to perform a few clicks, wait, and reboot to get their system up-to-date.

One usability change might surprise long time Tails users: the browser now has to be manually opened when Tor has successfully reached the network.

As always, be sure to upgrade! Users of Tails 0.22 on USB sticks can do so easily by running the Tails Upgrader application in the Tails menu.

Tor Browser Bundle 3.5.2 is released

The Tor Browser team delivers a new Tor Browser Bundle. Version 3.5.2 brings Tor users important security fixes from Firefox and contains fixes to the “new identity” feature, window size rounding, and the welcome screen with right-to-left language, among others.

The curious can take a peek at the changelog for more details. Every Tor user is encouraged to upgrade as soon possible. Jump to the download page!

Call to bridge operators to deploy ScrambleSuit

In the beginning there was Tor. When censors started filtering every known relay address, bridges were invented as a way to access the Tor network through unlisted relays. Deep packet inspection systems then started to filter Tor based on its traffic signature, so pluggable transports and obfucation protocols were designed in order to prevent bridge detection.

Currently, obfuscation is achieved through “obfs2” and “obfs3”. obfs2 is flawed; it’s detectable by deep packet inspection and is being phased out. obfs3 is unfortunately still vulnerable to active probing attacks. As obfs3 bridges are open to anyone, an attacker who uses a traffic classifier and finds an unclassified connection can figure out if it’s Tor simply by trying to connect through the same destination.

ScrambleSuit comes to the rescue. On top of making the traffic harder to recognize by timing or volume characteristics, ScrambleSuit requires a shared secret between the bridge and the client. A censor looking at the connection won’t have this secret, and therefore be unable to connect to the bridge and confirm that it’s Tor.

obfsproxy 0.2.6 was released last week and adds ScrambleSuit to the set of available pluggable transports. Bridge operators are now called to update their software and configuration. At least Tor 0.2.5.1-alpha is required. The latest version of obfsproxy can be installed from source, pip and Debian unstable.

There must be a critical mass of bridges before ScrambleSuit is made available to the Tor users who need it, so please help!

More status reports for January 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the month of January continued. Kevin P Dyer, Nick Mathewson, Georg Koppen, Karsten Loesing, Jacob Appelbaum, Arturo Filastò, Isis Lovecruft and Nicolas Vigier all released their reports this week.

Roger Dingledine has also sent the report to SponsorF.

Miscellaneous news

Most Tor developers will gather next week in Reykjavík, Iceland for the 2014 winter meeting. Expect a drop in activity on the usual communication channels while everyone is busy with face-to-face conversations. See upcoming events for activities open to the larger Tor community.

David Fifield is looking for testers for experimental 3.5.2 browser bundles with tor-fw-helper. “tor-fw-helper is a tool that uses UPnP or NAT-PMP to forward a port automatically” — something that flashproxy requires. David is “interested in finding out how likely it is to work”.

David Goulet gave us an update on the development of Torsocks 2.x. He hopes to perform a “full on release” after the Tor developers meeting.

”The Trying Trusted Tor Traceroutes project is coming closer to the next data review (03/2014)” wrote Sebastian Urbach. If you are a relay operator, please help find out how Tor performs against network-level attackers. The team now has a scoreboard with feedback for the participants.

One relay started to act funny regarding its advertised bandwidth. Roger Dingledine quickly reported his worries to the tor-talk mailing list. A couple of hours later Hyoung-Kee Choi accounted that one of the students from his research group had made a mistake while experimenting on the Tor bandwidth scanner. Directory authorities are now restricting its usage in the consensus.

On February 11th, the Tor Project participated on The Day We Fight Back, a global day of mobilization against NSA mass surveillance.

Tor help desk roundup

Tor supporters are often curious about the legal risks involved in running a Tor relay. The Tor Project is not aware of any country where running Tor is a punishable offense. Running a bridge relay or a non-exit relay is the best way to grow the Tor network without being exposed to additional legal scrutiny. The decision to run an exit relay should be made only after carefully reviewing the best practices. Unlike non-exit and bridge operators, exit relay operators need to be prepared to respond to abuse complaints.

Users continue to express interest in a 64-bit Tor Browser Bundle for Windows. Work to provide this new variant is on-going.

News from Tor StackExchange

strugee is running a Fast, Running and Valid relay and wonders when the relay will get the V2Dir flag. weasel answered that relays should “get the V2Dir flag simply by publishing a DirPort”, but that Tor will not always publish a DirPort: the full list can be found in the source code.

Ivar noted that the site How’s my SSL thinks that the SSL configuration of the Tor Browser is bad and wondered how the situation could be improved. Jens Kubieziel explained some settings for about:config and pointed to a more detailed blog post. Sam Whited also pointed out some settings for Firefox and noted that Firefox 27 improved the rating to “probably good” which will help the Tor Browser in the future.

fred set up a relay on a Windows machine where µTorrent is used besides Tor. When Tor is enabled many trackers become unreachable, but come back as soon as the relay is disabled. An explanation to this behaviour has yet to be found, don’t hesitate to chime in.


This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, Matt Pagan, Paul Feitzinger, qbi, Roger Dingledine and Karsten Loesing.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter. We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report important news. Please see the project page, write down your name and subscribe to the team mailing list if you want to
get involved!

Tor Browser 3.5.2 is released

The 3.5.2 release of the Tor Browser Bundle is now available on the Download page. You can also download the bundles directly from the distribution directory.

This release includes important security updates to Firefox.

Please see the TBB FAQ listing for any issues you may have before contacting support or filing tickets. In particular, the TBB 3.x section lists common issues specific to the Tor Browser 3.x series.

Here is the list of changes since 3.5.1. The 3.x ChangeLog is also available.

  • Rebase Tor Browser to Firefox 24.3.0ESR
  • Bug 10419: Block content window connections to localhost
  • Update Torbutton to 1.6.6.0
    • Bug 10800: Prevent findbox exception and popup in New Identity
    • Bug 10640: Fix about:tor's update pointer position for RTL languages.
    • Bug 10095: Fix some cases where resolution is not a multiple of 200x100
    • Bug 10374: Clear site permissions on New Identity
    • Bug 9738: Fix for auto-maximizing on browser start
    • Bug 10682: Workaround to really disable updates for Torbutton
    • Bug 10419: Don't allow connections to localhost if Torbutton is toggled
    • Bug 10140: Move Japanese to extra locales (not part of TBB dist)
    • Bug 10687: Add Basque (eu) to extra locales (not part of TBB dist)
  • Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.4.4
    • Bug 10682: Workaround to really disable updates for Tor Launcher
  • Update NoScript to 2.6.8.13
Syndicate content Syndicate content