Tor Browser 3.6.2 is released

The second pointfix release of the 3.6 series is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

This release features a fix to allow the configuration of a local HTTP or SOCKS proxy with all included Pluggable Transports.

In addition, this release also features important security updates to Firefox, as well as an update to OpenSSL 1.0.1h to address the latest round of OpenSSL security issues.

This release also updates the Tor client software to version, which blacklists directory authority keys that were created prior to fixing the Heartbleed attack.

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 24.6.0esr
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1h
    • Update NoScript to
    • Update Tor to
    • Update Tor Launcher to
      • Bug 10425: Provide geoip6 file location to Tor process
      • Bug 11754: Remove untranslated locales that were dropped from Transifex
      • Bug 11772: Set Proxy Type menu correctly after restart
      • Bug 11699: Change &#160 to   in UI elements
    • Update Torbutton to
      • Bug 11510: about:tor should not report success if tor proxy is unreachable
      • Bug 11783: Avoid b.webProgress error when double-clicking on New Identity
      • Bug 11722: Add hidden pref to force remote Tor check
      • Bug 11763: Fix pref dialog double-click race that caused settings to be reset
    • Bug 11629: Support proxies with Pluggable Transports
      • Updates FTEProxy to 0.2.15
      • Updates obfsproxy to 0.2.9
    • Backported Tor Patches:
      • Bug 11654: Fix malformed log message in bug11156 patch.
    • Bug 10425: Add in Tor's geoip6 files to the bundle distribution
    • Bugs 11834 and 11835: Include Pluggable Transport documentation
    • Bug 9701: Prevent ClipBoardCache from writing to disk.
    • Bug 12146: Make the CONNECT Host header the same as the Request-URI.
    • Bug 12212: Disable deprecated webaudio API
    • Bug 11253: Turn on TLS 1.1 and 1.2.
    • Bug 11817: Don't send startup time information to Mozilla.

The list of frequently encountered known issues is also available in our bug tracker.

Tor Challenge 2014

We are excited to announce the EFF has just launched the second Tor Challenge!

This challenge is somewhat different from the previous edition, as there are now incentives tied to running relays for an extended period of time. The goal is to educate and encourage lots of people to setup relays, and continue to contribute throughout the year.

EFF will be giving out a "limited-edition" sticker to relay operators who keep their relay running for at least 12 months. On top of that, people running a 1MB/s+ relay for 12 months will also receive a Tor t-shirt!

The more high-bandwidth relays we have, the better off the network is as a whole and the more people we will be able to help stay safe and secure online; so please join the EFF & the Tor Project for the 2014 Tor Challenge! Also, help us spread the word about this challenge by sharing this with others!

Reset the Net!

We’re making the Internet more secure, by taking part in #ResetTheNet

tor released

This is a slightly belated announcement for the release of tor Going into the future, we're planning to publish this information on the blog shortly after it is sent to tor-announce.

Release information is always published first on tor-talk.

Tor backports numerous high-priority fixes from the Tor 0.2.5 alpha release series. These include blocking all authority signing keys that may have been affected by the OpenSSL "heartbleed" bug, choosing a far more secure set of TLS ciphersuites by default, closing a couple of memory leaks that could be used to run a target relay out of RAM, and several others.

Here is the complete changelog:

Changes in version - 2014-05-16:

  • Major features (security, backport from
    • Block authority signing keys that were used on authorities
      vulnerable to the "heartbleed" bug in OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160). (We
      don't have any evidence that these keys _were_ compromised; we're
      doing this to be prudent.) Resolves ticket 11464.
  • Major bugfixes (security, OOM):
    • Fix a memory leak that could occur if a microdescriptor parse
      fails during the tokenizing step. This bug could enable a memory
      exhaustion attack by directory servers. Fixes bug 11649; bugfix
  • Major bugfixes (TLS cipher selection, backport from
    • The relay ciphersuite list is now generated automatically based on
      uniform criteria, and includes all OpenSSL ciphersuites with
      acceptable strength and forward secrecy. Previously, we had left
      some perfectly fine ciphersuites unsupported due to omission or
      typo. Resolves bugs 11513, 11492, 11498, 11499. Bugs reported by
      'cypherpunks'. Bugfix on

    • Relays now trust themselves to have a better view than clients of
      which TLS ciphersuites are better than others. (Thanks to bug
      11513, the relay list is now well-considered, whereas the client
      list has been chosen mainly for anti-fingerprinting purposes.)
      Relays prefer: AES over 3DES; then ECDHE over DHE; then GCM over
      CBC; then SHA384 over SHA256 over SHA1; and last, AES256 over
      AES128. Resolves ticket 11528.

    • Clients now try to advertise the same list of ciphersuites as
      Firefox 28. This change enables selection of (fast) GCM
      ciphersuites, disables some strange old ciphers, and stops
      advertising the ECDH (not to be confused with ECDHE) ciphersuites.
      Resolves ticket 11438.
  • Minor bugfixes (configuration, security):
    • When running a hidden service, do not allow TunneledDirConns 0:
      trying to set that option together with a hidden service would
      otherwise prevent the hidden service from running, and also make
      it publish its descriptors directly over HTTP. Fixes bug 10849;
      bugfix on
  • Minor bugfixes (controller, backport from
    • Avoid sending a garbage value to the controller when a circuit is
      cannibalized. Fixes bug 11519; bugfix on
  • Minor bugfixes (exit relay, backport from
    • Stop leaking memory when we successfully resolve a PTR record.
      Fixes bug 11437; bugfix on
  • Minor bugfixes (bridge client, backport from
    • Avoid 60-second delays in the bootstrapping process when Tor is
      launching for a second time while using bridges. Fixes bug 9229;
      bugfix on
  • Minor bugfixes (relays and bridges, backport from
    • Give the correct URL in the warning message when trying to run a
      relay on an ancient version of Windows. Fixes bug 9393.
  • Minor bugfixes (compilation):
    • Fix a compilation error when compiling with --disable-curve25519.
      Fixes bug 9700; bugfix on
  • Minor bugfixes:
    • Downgrade the warning severity for the the "md was still
      referenced 1 node(s)" warning. Tor has better code
      for trying to diagnose this bug, and the current warning in
      earlier versions of tor achieves nothing useful. Addresses warning
      from bug 7164.
  • Minor features (log verbosity, backport from
    • When we run out of usable circuit IDs on a channel, log only one
      warning for the whole channel, and describe how many circuits
      there were on the channel. Fixes part of ticket 11553.
  • Minor features (security, backport from
    • Decrease the lower limit of MaxMemInCellQueues to 256 MBytes (but
      leave the default at 8GBytes), to better support Raspberry Pi
      users. Fixes bug 9686; bugfix on
  • Documentation (backport from
    • Correctly document that we search for a system torrc file before
      looking in ~/.torrc. Fixes documentation side of 9213; bugfix on

Tor Weekly News — June 4th, 2014

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

Tails moves to Wheezy

The Tails live system is a Debian derivative aiming at preserving the privacy and anonymity of its users.

The first Tails releases were based on Debian Lenny (2009-2012); since version 0.7, Tails has been based on Debian Squeeze (2011-). Meanwhile, Debian has released a new stable version dubbed Wheezy, and the upcoming Tails 1.1 will be the first release to be based on the latter.

The general set of features should not change much from the previous Tails release, but almost every software component has been updated. On
May 30th, the Tails team released a beta image; given the number of changes, testing is even more welcome than usual.

Testers can also try out the new UEFI support, which enables Tails to boot on recent hardware and on Macs.

Several issues with the current beta image have already been identified, so be sure to have a look at the list before reporting.

The details of the release schedule are still being discussed at the time of writing, but Tails 1.1 is likely to be out by the end of July. Please help make it a great release!

Stem 1.2 brings interactive interaction with the Tor daemon

On June 1st, Damian Johnson announced the release of Stem 1.2. Stem is a Python library for interacting with the Tor daemon. It is now used by several applications like the arm status monitor and Philipp Winter’s exit scanner.

The new version brings an interactive control interpreter, “a new method for interacting with Tor’s control interface that combines an interactive python interpreter with raw access similar to telnet”. This should make Tor hackers happy by saving them from having to manually poke the control port through telnet or create complete Stem scripts.

For the complete list of changes, head over to the changelog.

Monthly status reports for May 2014

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the month of May has begun. Pearl Crescent released their report first, followed by Sherief Alaa, Damian Johnson, Nick Mathewson, Colin C., Georg Koppen, Lunar, Arlo Breault, and Matt Pagan.

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

Miscellaneous news

Pups, a chat system implemented by Sherief Alaa for real-time invitation-based user support, has gone live, and can now be used by Tor’s support assistants when that method promises a quicker resolution of an issue.

In response to a question about the writing of unit tests for tor, Nick Mathewson shared a brief guide to identifying lines in tor’s codebase that have not yet been covered by tests.

Nick also put out a call (relayed by Moritz Bartl) for Tor relay operators running version or later to profile their relays, in order to identify potential bottlenecks. Basic instructions for doing so on Debian and Ubuntu can be found in the comments to the relevant ticket.

During a discussion on the role of JavaScript hooks in Tor Browser, Mike Perry clarified the merits of writing direct C++ Firefox patches over using such hooks, as well as the possibility of incorporating Torbutton’s privacy features into either Firefox itself or a dedicated add-on.

Andrew Lewman reported on his trip to Stockholm to address Sida and the Stockholm Internet Forum.

Juha Nurmi sent the second weekly report for the Google Summer of Code project .

Marc Juarez is working on website fingerprinting countermeasures in the form of a pluggable transport. Marc wants to “implement a set of primitives that any link padding-based defense would benefit of” and is looking for feedback on the envisaged primitives.

Philipp Winter announced that Atlas, the web application to learn about currently running Tor relays, will now display information about a relay’s IPv6 exit policy, as well as the already-existing IPv4 exit summary.

Tor help desk roundup

Sometimes users with no network obstacles will email the help desk to ask how to configure their Tor Browser. Often these users will not need to configure anything, and clicking “Connect” is all that is necessary. Discussion on this problem is taking place on the bug tracker.

Easy development tasks to get involved with

The bridge distributor BridgeDB populates its database from the cached descriptor files copied over from the bridge authority. There’s a small bug in BridgeDB where a line that is included in two different cached descriptor files gets added twice to the database. The ticket says this bug is easily reproducible and even contains commands for reproducing it. If you enjoy digging into unknown Python/Twisted codebases to find the few spots that need fixing, this bug may be for you. Be sure to comment on the ticket when you have a fix!

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

Stem Release 1.2


Hi all. After months of work I'm please to announce the release of Stem 1.2.0!

For those who aren't familiar with it, Stem is a Python library for interacting with Tor. With it you can script against your relay, descriptor data, or even write applications similar to arm and Vidalia.

So what's new in this release?

Interactive Tor Interpreter

The control interpreter is a new method for interacting with Tor's control interface that combines an interactive python interpreter with raw access similar to telnet. This adds several usability features, such as...

  • Irc-style commands like '/help'.
  • Tab completion for Tor's controller commands.
  • History scrollback by pressing up/down.
  • Transparently handles Tor authentication at startup.
  • Colorized output for improved readability.

For a tutorial to get you started see...

Down the Rabbit Hole

New connect() Function

This release of Stem provides a new, even easier method for establishing controllers. Connecting to Tor can now be as easy as...

import sys

from stem.connection import connect

if __name__ == '__main__':
  controller = connect()

  if not controller:
    sys.exit(1)  # unable to get a connection

  print 'Tor is running version %s' % controller.get_version()

For a rundown on the myriad of improvements and fixes in this release see...

Cheers! -Damian

Stockholm May 2014 Trip Report

I was invited to speak on a panel at Sida about security, tools, and how they can be used in the world. The panel was generally for Sida staff to let them learn, ask questions, and interact with us in an informal way. A big thanks to Sida for providing the space and infrastructure support to allow us to all congeal for a day. My presentation from the panel is available[8].

Despite not being invited last year, I was invited to the Stockholm Internet Forum[1] (SIF14) this year to help talk about Tor, privacy, a cyber-panopticon[2] panel, empowering women and tech, and generally meeting with various organizations about funding partnerships. I spent most of my time split between talking to various orgs about partnerships and hanging out with the cool dfri[3] people. I met Hillevi Engström[7] and introduced her and her attending staff to Tor. The cyper-panopticon panel was held during the unconference sessions on the first day. We generally raised topics of surveillance, chilling effects, encryption, and the nature of abusive relationships between some governments and their populaces. Some pictures and videos are available[4]--if anyone has more pictures or video, let me know via email. The panel wasn't officially recorded by SIF14.

The better parts of the panels were the hallway/mingle sessions where everyone got to talk about real topics. I talked at length about the situation in Burkina Faso[5], the Uganda and LGBT situation, and spoke to a few women from Jordan, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algiers, Morocco, Uganda, and Kenya about the state of women's access to and education in technology, especially in writing code to gain employment. Everyone wants to help equalize the situation for women in both economic and rights in these countries. A huge debt of gratitude to Sarah Cortes[6], a volunteer, researcher, and strong feminist for paying her own way to Sweden to represent Tor at Sida and at SIF14, explaining the details to most of the women at the conference, and for introducing Tor to a huge number of organizations in a very positive way. It's unfortunate the conference was dominated by discussions about a few white men and surveillance. Learning more about surveillance, Snowden, and women whistle-blowers would have been interesting. However, more time given to the topics of gender equality such as the "crime of being a woman online" and what we can do to empower all women with access, opportunity, education, and increased technical skills would have been more interesting at a conference composed of 50% women. What have you done to fight the patriarchy today?

I met and spoke with a few senior officials of the Middle East-North Africa region from the Foreign Ministry of Sweden about Tor, privacy, and supporting women in the region.

I spent the rest of the week meeting with some people from potential partners, dfri, and other activists from around the world. The general feedback from potential funding organizations is that we have a lot of work to do and the rest of the world is quickly catching up and surpassing our capabilities. At the same time, there is a lot of interest in partnering with us to accomplish many goals in improving privacy, censorship circumvention research, and improving the situation of women online.

All in all, a successful trip and great time in Sweden.


Originally sent to the Tor-reports mailing list.

Tor Weekly News — May 28th, 2014

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

OnionShare and tor’s ControlPort

Micah Lee published OnionShare, a program that “makes it simple to share a file securely using a password-protected Tor hidden service”. It originally ran only in Tails, but has now been made compatible with other GNU/Linux distros, Windows, and OS X. As part of that process, Micah wondered about the best way to make the program work with a Tor Browser or system tor process, as “I would really like to not be in the business of distributing Tor myself”. meejah and David Stainton responded with relevant details of the Stem and txtorcon controller libraries, which allow this kind of operation to take place via tor’s ControlPort.

The “Tor and HTTPS” visualization made translatable

Lunar announced the creation of a repository for an SVG+Javascript version of the EFF’s interactive “Tor and HTTPS” visualization, which has proven useful in explaining to users the types of data that can be leaked or intercepted, and by whom, when using Tor or HTTPS (or both, or neither). As Lunar wrote, “The good news is that it’s translatable”: copies have so far been published in over twenty languages. The amount of translation required is very small, so if you’d like to contribute in your language then download the POT file and submit a patch!

A Child’s Garden of Pluggable Transports

David Fifield published “A Child’s Garden of Pluggable Transports”, a detailed visualization of different pluggable transport protocols, including “aspects of different transports that I think are hard to intuit, such as what flash proxy rendezvous looks like, and how transports look under the encrypted layer that is visible to a censor”. A few other transports supported by Tor are not yet discussed in the guide; “if you know how to run any of those transports, and you know an effective way to visualize it, please add it to the page”, wrote David.

Miscellaneous news

Anthony G. Basile released version 20140520 of tor-ramdisk, the micro Linux distribution “whose only purpose is to host a Tor server in an environment that maximizes security and privacy”. The new version upgrades Tor to version, which “adds an important block to authority signing keys that were used on authorities vulnerable to the “heartbleed” bug in OpenSSL”, among other fixes; upgrading “is strongly recommended”.

Cure53 audited the security of the Onion Browser, a web browser for iOS platforms tunneling traffic through Tor. From the conclusion: “we believe that the Onion Browser project is on the right track, however there is still a long way ahead for the project to be appropriately ‘ripe’ for usage in actually privacy-relevant and critically important scenarios.” All reported issues should have been fixed in release 1.5 on May 14th.

A new pluggable transport, currently named obfs4, is being crafted by Yawning Angel: “obfs4 is ScrambleSuit with djb crypto. Instead of obfs3 style UniformDH and CTR-AES256/HMAC-SHA256, obfs4 uses a combination of Curve25519, Elligator2, HMAC-SHA256, XSalsa20/Poly1305 and SipHash-2-4”. The feature set offered by obfs4 is comparable to ScrambleSuit, with minor differences. Yawning is now asking the community for comments, reviews, and tests.

Stem now offers a control interpreter, “a new method for interacting with Tor’s control interface that combines an interactive python interpreter with raw access similar to telnet”. Damian Johnson wrote a new tutorial to give an overview of what can be done with it.

Also on the controller front, Yawning Angel hacked on or-applet, a Gtk+ system tray applet to monitor Tor circuits.

Arlo Breault is making progress on the Tor Instant Messenger Bundle: a minimalistic user interface for OTR encryption in Instantbird, one of the key features missing from the finished software, has now been implemented.

Nicolas Vigier has been working on improving the Mbox sandboxing environment to test the Tor Browser for disk or network leaks.

Israel Leiva published the initial version of a design proposal for the “Revamp GetTor” Google Summer of Code project, having concluded that a full rewrite is needed.

Juha Nurmi submitted the first weekly report for the GSoC project.

kzhm sent out instructions for installing obfsproxy on Fedora 20, to go with those for other Linux distributions.

AddressSanitizer (ASan) is a powerful memory error detector: software built with such technology makes it a lot harder to exploit programming errors related to memory management. Happily, Georg Koppen has announced the first test packages of the Tor Browser built with ASan hardening.

Karsten Loesing is planning on spinning off the directory archive from the metrics portal.

Tor help desk roundup

Multiple Mac OS X users complained that despite seeing the “Congratulations” welcome page, they were unable to reach any website with the Tor Browser. It appears that with a recent update, the Sophos anti-virus solution interferes with the Tor Browser. In order to be able to use the Tor Browser again, one must open Sophos Anti-Virus, then “Preferences”, and in the “Web Protection” panel position all switches to off.

News from Tor StackExchange

yohann2008 doesn’t want their hidden service to be indexed by search engines. puser suggested using a robots.txt file, as on a normal webpage. Jens Kubieziel later received confirmation on the IRC channel of that this search engine does indeed respect the robots.txt; however, it is unknown whether others do.

Herbalist saw the following line in their log file and wonders what it could mean: “Rejecting INTRODUCE1 on non-OR or non-edge circuit 7503”. If you can unravel this mystery, please submit your answer to the question.

Easy development tasks to get involved with

The metrics website displays graphs on bridge users by pluggable transport, but we’d like to have another graph with total pluggable transport usage. Karsten Loesing outlined the steps for adding such a graph, which require some knowledge of R and ggplot2. If you enjoy writing R and want to add this new graph to the metrics website, give it a try and post your results on the ticket.

This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Lunar, harmony, qbi, 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!

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