tor browser

Tor Browser 5.5a2 is released

A new release for the alpha Tor Browser is available for download in the 5.5a2 distribution directory and on the alpha download page.

This release features important security updates to Firefox.

Additionally, we included the crash bug fix that was already available in the stable series and a small fix for Unity and Gnome users on Linux. Also, we updated the NoScript version we ship.

Here is the complete changelog since 5.5a1:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 38.2.1esr
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.36
    • Bug 16771: Fix crash on some websites due to blob URIs
  • Linux
    • Bug 16860: Avoid duplicate icons on Unity and Gnome

Tor Browser 5.0.2 is released

A new release for the stable Tor Browser is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

This release features important security updates to Firefox.

Additionally, we updated the NoScript version we ship and included a small fix for Unity and Gnome users on Linux.

Here is the complete changelog since 5.0.1:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 38.2.1esr
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.36
  • Linux
    • Bug 16860: Avoid duplicate icons on Unity and Gnome

Tor Browser 5.0.1 is released

A new release for the stable Tor Browser is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

This release fixes a crash bug that caused Tor Browser to crash on certain sites (in particular, Google Maps and Tumblr). The crash bug was a NULL pointer dereference while handling blob URIs. The crash was not exploitable.

Here is the complete changelog since 5.0:

  • All Platforms
    • Bug 16771: Fix crash on some websites due to blob URIs

Tor Browser 5.5a1 is released

The Tor Browser Team is proud to announce the first alpha release in the 5.5 series. The release is available for download in the 5.5a1 distribution directory and on the alpha download page.

This release features important security updates to Firefox. In particular, while the recent PDF.js exploit did not affect 4.5 users, it does affect users of 5.0a3 and 5.0a4. Although the High security level of the Security Slider also prevented the exploit from working against even those users, all alpha users are still strongly encouraged to upgrade as soon as possible.

In addition to fixing these security issues, the remaining major issues with Firefox 38 from 5.0a4 were also fixed. This release also features improvements to fingerprinting defenses. In particular, we continue to refine our font fingerprinting defense that was added in 5.0a4. With this defense, Tor Browser now ships with a standard set of fonts, and prefers to use the provided fonts instead of native ones in most cases. Interested users are encouraged to help us refine this defense by commenting on the associated ticket in our bugtracker.

This release also will reset the permanent NoScript whitelist, due to an issue where previous NoScript updates had added certain domains to the whitelist during upgrade. The whitelist is reset to the default for all users as a result, and future updates to the whitelist by NoScript have been disabled.

Here is the complete changelog since 5.0a4:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 38.2.0esr
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.34
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.3.3
      • Bug 16731: TBB 5.0 a3/a4 fails to download a file on right click
      • Bug 16730: Reset NoScript whitelist on upgrade
      • Bug 16722: Prevent "Tiles" feature from being enabled after upgrade
      • Bug 16488: Remove "Sign in to Sync" from the browser menu (fixup)
      • Bug 14429: Make sure the automatic resizing is enabled
      • Translation updates
    • Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.7.7
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16730: Prevent NoScript from updating the default whitelist
    • Bug 16715: Use ThreadsafeIsCallerChrome() instead of IsCallerChrome()
    • Bug 16572: Verify cache isolation for XMLHttpRequests in Web Workers
    • Bug 16311: Fix navigation timing in ESR 38
    • Bug 15646: Prevent keyboard layout fingerprinting in KeyboardEvent (fixup)
    • Bug 16672: Change font whitelists and configs for rendering issues (partial)

Tor Browser 5.0 is released

The Tor Browser Team is proud to announce the first stable release in the 5.0 series. This release is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

This release features important security updates to Firefox. Note that the recent PDF.js exploit did not affect 4.5 users, but they should upgrade to this release immediately because numerous other potential security issues were fixed by Mozilla in this release. (Incidentally: Users who are using the 5.0-alpha series are vulnerable to the PDF.js exploit, but not if they were using the 'High' security level. Regardless, we are also upgrading 5.0-alpha users to 5.5a1 today to fix the issue as well).

This release also brings us up to date with Firefox 38-ESR, which should mean improved support for HTML5 video on Youtube, as well as a host of other improvements. Controversial and hard-to-audit binary components related to EME DRM were disabled, however.

The release also features new privacy enhancements. In particular, more identifier sources that appeared in Firefox 38 (or were otherwise disabled previously) are now isolated to the first party (URL bar) domain. This release also contains defenses from the 5.0-alpha series for keystroke (typing) fingerprinting and some instances of performance/timing fingerprinting.

Regrettably, our new defenses for font and keyboard layout fingerprinting did not stabilize in time for this release. Users who are interested in helping us improve them should try out 5.5a1.

This release also will reset the permanent NoScript whitelist, due to an issue where previous NoScript updates had added certain domains to the whitelist during upgrade. The whitelist is reset to the default for all users as a result, and future updates to the whitelist by NoScript have been disabled.

Starting with this release, Tor Browser will now also download and apply upgrades in the background, to ensure that users upgrade quicker and with less interaction. This behavior is governed by the about:config pref app.update.auto, but we do not recommend disabling it unless you really know what you're doing.

Here is the complete changelog since 4.5.3:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 38.2.0esr
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1p
    • Update HTTPS-Everywhere to 5.0.7
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.34
    • Update meek to 0.20
    • Update Tor to 0.2.6.10 with patches:
      • Bug 16674: Allow FQDNs ending with a single '.' in our SOCKS host name checks.
      • Bug 16430: Allow DNS names with _ characters in them (fixes nytimes.com)
      • Bug 15482: Don't allow circuits to change while a site is in use
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.3.2
      • Bug 16731: TBB 5.0 a3/a4 fails to download a file on right click
      • Bug 16730: Reset NoScript whitelist on upgrade
      • Bug 16722: Prevent "Tiles" feature from being enabled after upgrade
      • Bug 16488: Remove "Sign in to Sync" from the browser menu (fixup)
      • Bug 16268: Show Tor Browser logo on About page
      • Bug 16639: Check for Updates menu item can cause update download failure
      • Bug 15781: Remove the sessionstore filter
      • Bug 15656: Sync privacy.resistFingerprinting with Torbutton pref
      • Bug 16427: Use internal update URL to block updates (instead of 127.0.0.1)
      • Bug 16200: Update Cache API usage and prefs for FF38
      • Bug 16357: Use Mozilla API to wipe permissions db
      • Bug 14429: Make sure the automatic resizing is disabled
      • Translation updates
    • Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.7.7
      • Bug 16428: Use internal update URL to block updates (instead of 127.0.0.1)
      • Bug 15145: Visually distinguish "proxy" and "bridge" screens.
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16730: Prevent NoScript from updating the default whitelist
    • Bug 16715: Use ThreadsafeIsCallerChrome() instead of IsCallerChrome()
    • Bug 16572: Verify cache isolation for XMLHttpRequests in Web Workers
    • Bug 16884: Prefer IPv6 when supported by the current Tor exit
    • Bug 16488: Remove "Sign in to Sync" from the browser menu
    • Bug 16662: Enable network.http.spdy.* prefs in meek-http-helper
    • Bug 15703: Isolate mediasource URIs and media streams to first party
    • Bug 16429+16416: Isolate blob URIs to first party
    • Bug 16632: Turn on the background updater and restart prompting
    • Bug 16528: Prevent indexedDB Modernizr site breakage on Twitter and elsewhere
    • Bug 16523: Fix in-browser JavaScript debugger
    • Bug 16236: Windows updater: avoid writing to the registry
    • Bug 16625: Fully disable network connection prediction
    • Bug 16495: Fix SVG crash when security level is set to "High"
    • Bug 13247: Fix meek profile error after bowser restarts
    • Bug 16005: Relax WebGL minimal mode
    • Bug 16300: Isolate Broadcast Channels to first party
    • Bug 16439: Remove Roku screencasting code
    • Bug 16285: Disabling EME bits
    • Bug 16206: Enforce certificate pinning
    • Bug 15910: Disable Gecko Media Plugins for now
    • Bug 13670: Isolate OCSP requests by first party domain
    • Bug 16448: Isolate favicon requests by first party
    • Bug 7561: Disable FTP request caching
    • Bug 6503: Fix single-word URL bar searching
    • Bug 15526: ES6 page crashes Tor Browser
    • Bug 16254: Disable GeoIP-based search results.
    • Bug 16222: Disable WebIDE to prevent remote debugging and addon downloads.
    • Bug 13024: Disable DOM Resource Timing API
    • Bug 16340: Disable User Timing API
    • Bug 14952: Disable HTTP/2
    • Bug 1517: Reduce precision of time for Javascript
    • Bug 13670: Ensure OCSP & favicons respect URL bar domain isolation
    • Bug 16311: Fix navigation timing in ESR 38
  • Windows
    • Bug 16014: Staged update fails if meek is enabled
    • Bug 16269: repeated add-on compatibility check after update (meek enabled)
  • Mac OS
    • Use OSX 10.7 SDK
    • Bug 16253: Tor Browser menu on OS X is broken with ESR 38
    • Bug 15773: Enable ICU on OS X
  • Build System
    • Bug 16351: Upgrade our toolchain to use GCC 5.1
    • Bug 15772 and child tickets: Update build system for Firefox 38
    • Bugs 15921+15922: Fix build errors during Mozilla Tryserver builds
    • Bug 15864: rename sha256sums.txt to sha256sums-unsigned-build.txt

Tor Browser 5.0a4 is released

The Tor Browser Team is proud to announce the second alpha release based on Firefox 38 ESR. This release is also the fourth and final alpha in the 5.0 series. The release is available for download in the 5.0a4 distribution directory and on the alpha download page.

Most notably, this release contains an experimental defense against font fingerprinting by using an identical set of shipped fonts on all supported platforms. We've also updated the versions of several Tor Browser components, including updating Tor to 0.2.7.2-alpha. The 5.0-stable release will be based on Tor 0.2.6-latest, however.

Last but not least we fixed a lot of important bugs that were due to our switch to Firefox 38 ESR, including issues with major websites such as Twitter. This release brings us very close to a stable Tor Browser 5.0, which we aim to release next week. Unless we hear about additional issues, not much will change between 5.0a4 and 5.0-stable, aside from the Tor version and possibly the font defense.

Here is the complete changelog since 5.0a3

  • All Platforms
    • Update Tor to 0.2.7.2-alpha with patches
      • Bug 15482: Don't allow circuits to change while a site is in use
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1p
    • Update HTTPS-Everywhere to 5.0.7
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.31
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.3.1
      • Bug 16268: Show Tor Browser logo on About page
      • Bug 16639: Check for Updates menu item can cause update download failure
      • Bug 15781: Remove the sessionstore filter
      • Bug 15656: Sync privacy.resistFingerprinting with Torbutton pref
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16884: Prefer IPv6 when supported by the current Tor exit
    • Bug 16488: Remove "Sign in to Sync" from the browser menu
    • Bug 13313: Bundle a fixed set of fonts to defend against fingerprinting
    • Bug 16662: Enable network.http.spdy.* prefs in meek-http-helper
    • Bug 15646: Prevent keyboard layout fingerprinting in KeyboardEvent (fixup)
    • Bug 15703: Isolate mediasource URIs and media streams to first party
    • Bug 16429+16416: Isolate blob URIs to first party
    • Bug 16632: Turn on the background updater and restart prompting
    • Bug 16528: Prevent IndexedDB Modernizr site breakage on Twitter and elsewhere
    • Bug 16523: Fix in-browser JavaScript debugger
    • Bug 16236: Windows updater: avoid writing to the registry
    • Bug 16005: Restrict WebGL minimal mode a bit (fixup)
    • Bug 16625: Fully disable network connection prediction
    • Bug 16495: Fix SVG crash when security level is set to "High"
  • Build System
    • Bug 15864: Rename sha256sums.txt to sha256sums-unsigned-build.txt

Preliminary analysis of Hacking Team's slides

A few weeks ago, Hacking Team was bragging publicly about a Tor Browser exploit. We've learned some details of their proposed attack from a leaked powerpoint presentation that was part of the Hacking Team dump.

The good news is that they don't appear to have any exploit on Tor or on Tor Browser. The other good news is that their proposed attack doesn't scale well. They need to put malicious hardware on the local network of their target user, which requires choosing their target, locating her, and then arranging for the hardware to arrive in the right place. So it's not really practical to launch the attack on many Tor users at once.

But they actually don't need an exploit on Tor or Tor Browser. Here's the proposed attack in a nutshell:

1) Pick a target user (say, you), figure out how you connect to the Internet, and install their attacking hardware on your local network (e.g. inside your ISP).

2) Wait for you to browse the web without Tor Browser, i.e. with some other browser like Firefox or Chrome or Safari, and then insert some sort of exploit into one of the web pages you receive (maybe the Flash 0-day we learned about from the same documents, or maybe some other exploit).

3) Once they've taken control of your computer, they configure your Tor Browser to use a socks proxy on a remote computer that they control. In effect, rather than using the Tor client that's part of Tor Browser, you'll be using their remote Tor client, so they get to intercept and watch your traffic before it enters the Tor network.

You have to stop them at step two, because once they've broken into your computer, they have many options for attacking you from there.

Their proposed attack requires Hacking Team (or your government) to already have you in their sights. This is not mass surveillance — this is very targeted surveillance.

Another answer is to run a system like Tails, which avoids interacting with any local resources. In this case there should be no opportunity to insert an exploit from the local network. But that's still not a complete solution: some coffeeshops, hotels, etc will demand that you interact with their local login page before you can access the Internet. Tails includes what they call their 'unsafe' browser for these situations, and you're at risk during that brief period when you use it.

Ultimately, security here comes down to having safer browsers. We continue to work on ways to make Tor Browser more resilient against attacks, but the key point here is that they'll go after the weakest link on your system — and at least in the scenarios they describe, Tor Browser isn't the weakest link.

As a final point, note that this is just a powerpoint deck (probably a funding pitch), and we've found no indication yet that they ever followed through on their idea.

We'll update you with more information if we learn anything further. Stay safe out there!

Tor Browser 5.0a3 is released

The Tor Browser Team is proud to announce the first alpha released based on Firefox 38 ESR.

As such, this release features many updates to Firefox (including several security updates), as well as to our build system and dependencies. For this release, we performed a thorough network and feature review of Firefox 38, and fixed the most pressing privacy issues, as well as all Tor proxy safety issues that we discovered during the audit.

We also updated our toolchain on OS X to use the OS X 10.7 SDK. For Linux and Windows we switched to GCC 5.1 as our new (cross)-compiler. We are therefore especially interested in feedback if there are stability issues or broken Tor Browser bundles due to these toolchain upgrades.

Besides Firefox 38 and build system changes, we also updated several components. Most notably, we bumped OpenSSL to version 1.0.1o, NoScript to version 2.6.9.27 and Torbutton to version 1.9.3.0. Included as well is a backported Tor patch to improve usability on websites, and we fixed a crash bug impacting users with the security slider level set to "High".

Here is the complete changelog since 5.0a2

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 38.1.0esr
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1o
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.27
    • Update meek to 0.20
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.3.0
      • Bug 16403: Set search parameters for Disconnect
      • Bug 14429: Make sure the automatic resizing is enabled
      • Bug 16427: Use internal update URL to block updates (instead of
        127.0.0.1)

      • Bug 16200: Update Cache API usage and prefs for FF38
      • Bug 16357: Use Mozilla API to wipe permissions db
      • Translation updates
    • Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.6.7
      • Bug 16428: Use internal update URL to block updates (instead of
        127.0.0.1)

      • Bug 15145: Visually distinguish "proxy" and "bridge" screens.
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16430: Allow DNS names with _ characters in them (fixes
      nytimes.com) (Tor patch backport)

    • Bug 13247: Fix meek profile error after bowser restarts
    • Bug 16397: Fix crash related to disabling SVG
    • Bug 16403: Set search parameters for Disconnect
    • Bug 16446: Update FTE bridge #1 fingerprint
    • Bug 15646: Prevent keyboard layout fingerprinting in KeyboardEvent
    • Bug 16005: Relax WebGL minimal mode
    • Bug 16300: Isolate Broadcast Channels to first party
    • Bug 16439: Remove Roku screencasting code
    • Bug 16285: Disabling EME bits
    • Bug 16206: Enforce certificate pinning
    • Bug 13670: Isolate OCSP requests by first party domain
    • Bug 16448: Isolate favicon requests by first party
    • Bug 7561: Disable FTP request caching
    • Bug 6503: Fix single-word URL bar searching
    • Bug 15526: ES6 page crashes Tor Browser
    • Bug 16254: Disable GeoIP-based search results
    • Bug 16222: Disable WebIDE to prevent remote debugging and addon
      downloads.

    • Bug 13024: Disable DOM Resource Timing API
    • Bug 16340: Disable User Timing API
    • Bug 14952: Disable HTTP/2
  • Mac OS
    • Use OSX 10.7 SDK
    • Bug 16253: Tor Browser menu on OS X is broken with ESR 38
  • Build System
    • Bug 16351: Upgrade our toolchain to use GCC 5.1
    • Bug 15772 and child tickets: Update build system for Firefox 38

Tor Browser 4.5.3 is released

A new release for the stable Tor Browser is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.

Tor Browser 4.5.3 is based on Firefox ESR 31.8.0, which features important security updates to Firefox.

Moreover, it contains an updated OpenSSL, NoScript and Torbutton, a fix for a crash bug visible with the security slider level set to "High" and a backport of a Tor patch to improve usability on websites.

Here is the complete changelog since 4.5.2:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 31.8.0esr
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1o
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.27
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.2.8
      • Bug 16403: Set search parameters for Disconnect
      • Bug 14429: Make sure the automatic resizing is disabled
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16397: Fix crash related to disabling SVG
    • Bug 16403: Set search parameters for Disconnect
    • Bug 16446: Update FTE bridge #1 fingerprint
    • Bug 16430: Allow DNS names with _ characters in them (fixes
      nytimes.com) (Tor patch backport)

Tor Browser 5.0a2 is released

The second alpha release in the 5.0 series of the Tor Browser is now available from our extended downloads page as well as the distribution directory.

This release provides a fix for the Logjam attack (https://weakdh.org/) and updates a number of Tor Browser components: Tor to version 0.2.7.1-alpha, Torbutton to version 1.9.2.7, NoScript to version 2.6.9.26, meek to version 0.19 and HTTPS-Everywhere to version 5.0.5. Moreover, it fixes a possible crash on Linux and avoids breaking the Add-ons page if Torbutton is disabled, and it also fixes an update issue when using meek on Windows systems.

Here is the complete changelog

  • All Platforms
    • Update Tor to 0.2.7.1-alpha
    • Update OpenSSL to 1.0.1n
    • Update HTTPS-Everywhere to 5.0.5
    • Update NoScript to 2.6.9.26
    • Update meek to 0.19
    • Update Torbutton to 1.9.2.7
      • Bug 15984: Disabling Torbutton breaks the Add-ons Manager
      • Bug 14429: Make sure the automatic resizing is enabled
      • Translation updates
    • Bug 16130: Defend against logjam attack
    • Bug 15984: Disabling Torbutton breaks the Add-ons Manager
  • Windows
    • Bug 16014: Staged update fails if meek is enabled
    • Bug 16269: repeated add-on compatibility check after update (meek enabled)
  • Linux
    • Bug 16026: Fix crash in GStreamer
    • Bug 16083: Update comment in start-tor-browser
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