New Release: Tor Browser 9.5

Update [06/03 15:40 UTC]: Added developers docs for enabling onion-location and client authentication.

Tor Browser 9.5 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory. The Android version is also available from Google Play and should be available from F-Droid within the next day.

This release includes important security updates to Firefox.

This new Tor Browser release is focused on helping users understand onion services.

Tor's onion routing remains the best way to achieve end-to-end anonymous communication on the Internet. With onion services (.onion addresses), website administrators can provide their users with anonymous connections that are metadata-free or that hide metadata from any third party. Onion services are also one of the few censorship circumvention technologies that allow users to route around censorship while simultaneously protecting their privacy and identity.

For the first time, Tor Browser users on desktop will be able to opt-in for using onion sites automatically whenever the website makes them available. For years, some websites have invisibly used onion services with alternative services (alt-svc), and this continues to be an excellent choice. Now, there is also an opt-in mechanism available for websites that want their users to know about their onion service that invites them to upgrade their connection via the .onion address.

What is new?

Onion Location

Website publishers now can advertise their onion service to Tor users by adding an HTTP header. When visiting a website that has both an .onion address and Onion Location enabled via Tor Browser, users will be prompted about the onion service version of the site and will be asked to opt-in to upgrade to the onion service on their first use.

If you are a developer, learn how to enable onion-location in your onion service.

Onion Location Propublica

 

Onion Authentication

Onion services administrators who want to add an extra layer of security to their website can now set a pair of keys for access control and authentication. Tor Browser users can save keys and manage them via about:preferences#privacy in the Onion Services Authentication section.

If you are a developer, learn how to secure your onion service using client auth.

Onion Authentication

Improved URL Bar Security Indicators

Browsers traditionally rendered sites delivered via a secure transport protocol with a green lock icon. But in mid-2019, the formerly green lock icon became gray, intending to de-emphasize the default (safe) connection state and, instead, putting more emphasis on broken or insecure connections. Major browsers as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome understood that it is a benefit for the entire user base if they deploy familiar experiences for both users. We are following Firefox on this decision, and we have updated Tor Browser security indicators to make it easier for users to understand when they are visiting a non-secure website.

Tor Browser 9.5 URL Bar Update

Error Pages for Onion Services

Sometimes users have a hard time reaching onion sites. In previous versions of Tor Browser, when there was an error connecting to an onion service, users received a standard Firefox error message, with no information about why they were unable to connect to the onion site.

In this release, we have improved the way Tor Browser communicates with users about service-, client-, and network-side errors that might happen when they are trying to visit an onion service. Tor Browser now displays a simplified diagram of the connection and shows where the error occurred. We want these messages to be clear and informative without being overwhelming.

Error Page for Onion Pages

Onion Names

Because of cryptographic protections, onion service URLs are not easy for humans to remember (ie, https://torproject.org vs. http://expyuzz4wqqyqhjn.onion/). This makes it hard for users to discover or return to an onion site. We found that organically, developers have approached this problem in different ways, mostly with solutions tailored for their service. Given that there is no solution that works perfectly for all our user groups, we also approached this problem from a broad angle. For this release, we partnered with Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation's HTTPS Everywhere to develop the first proof-of-concept human-memorable names for SecureDrop onion services addresses:

Freedom of the Press Foundation has reached out to a small number of additional media organizations for participation, and Tor and FPF will jointly consider next steps based on feedback on this initial proof-of-concept.

Onion Names

 

Known Issues

Tor Browser 9.5 comes with a number of known issues.

Give Feedback

If you find a bug or have a suggestion for how we could improve this release, please let us know. Thanks to all of the teams across Tor, and the many volunteers, who contributed to this release.

Full Changelog

The full changelog since Tor Browser 9.0.10 is:

  • All Platforms
    • Update Firefox to 68.9.0esr
    • Update HTTPS-Everywhere to 2020.5.20
    • Update NoScript to 11.0.26
    • Update Tor to 0.4.3.5
    • Translations update
    • Bug 21549: Disable wasm for now until it is properly audited
    • Bug 27268: Preferences clean-up in Torbutton code
    • Bug 28745: Remove torbutton.js unused code
    • Bug 28746: Remove torbutton isolation and fp prefs sync
    • Bug 30237: Control port module improvements for v3 client authentication
    • Bug 30786: Add th locale
    • Bug 30787: Add lt locale
    • Bug 30788: Add ms locale
    • Bug 30851: Move default preferences to 000-tor-browser.js
    • Bug 30888: move torbutton_util.js to modules/utils.js
    • Bug 31134: Govern graphite again by security settings
    • Bug 31395: Remove inline script in aboutTor.xhtml
    • Bug 31499: Update libevent to 2.1.11-stable
      • Bug 33877: Disable Samples and Regression tests For Libevent Build
    • Bug 31573: Catch SessionStore.jsm exception
    • Bug 32318: Backport Mozilla's fix for bug 1534339
    • Bug 32414: Make Services.search.addEngine obey FPI
    • Bug 32493: Disable MOZ_SERVICES_HEALTHREPORT
    • Bug 32618: Backport fixes from Mozilla bugs 1467970 and 1590526
    • Bug 33342: Avoid disconnect search addon error after removal
    • Bug 33726: Fix patch for #23247: Communicating security expectations for .onion
    • Bug 34157: Backport fix for Mozilla Bug 1511941
  • Windows + OS X + Linux
    • Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.21.8
      • Translations update
      • Bug 19757: Support on-disk storage of v3 client auth keys
      • Bug 30237: Add v3 onion services client authentication prompt
      • Bug 30786: Add th locale
      • Bug 30787: Add lt locale
      • Bug 30788: Add ms locale
      • Bug 33514: non-en-US Tor Browser 9.5a6 won't start up
    • Bug 19251: Show improved error pages for onion service errors
    • Bug 19757: Support on-disk storage of v3 client auth keys
    • Bug 21952: Implement Onion-Location
    • Bug 27604: Fix broken Tor Browser after moving it to a different directory
    • Bug 28005: Implement .onion alias urlbar rewrites
    • Bug 30237: Improve TBB UI of hidden service client authorization
    • Bug 32076: Upgrade to goptlib v1.1.0
    • Bug 32220: Improve the letterboxing experience
    • Bug 32418: Allow updates to be disabled via an enterprise policy.
    • Bug 32470: Backport fix for bug 1590538
    • Bug 32645: Update URL bar onion indicators
    • Bug 32658: Create a new MAR signing key
    • Bug 32674: Point the about:tor "Get involved" link to the community portal
    • Bug 32767: Remove Disconnect search
    • Bug 33698: Update "About Tor Browser" links in Tor Browser
    • Bug 33707: Swap out onion icon in circuit display with new one
    • Bug 34032: Use Securedrop's Official https-everywhere ruleset
    • Bug 34196: Update site info URL with the onion name
    • Bug 34321: Add Learn More onboarding item
  • Windows
    • Bug 22919: Improve the random number generator for the boundaries in multipart/form-data
    • Bug 29614: Use SHA-256 algorithm for Windows timestamping
    • Bug 33113: Bump NSIS version to 3.05
  • OS X
    • Bug 32505: Tighten our rules in our entitlements file for macOS
  • Linux
    • Bug 27903: Tor Browser 8 does not respect gtk3 settings
    • Bug 34315: Avoid reading policies from /etc/firefox on Linux
  • Android
    • Bug 26529: Notify user about possible proxy-bypass before opening external app
    • Bug 30767: Custom obfs4 bridge does not work on Tor Browser for Android
    • Bug 32303: Obfs4 is broken on Android Q
    • Bug 33359: Use latest Version of TOPL and Remove Patches
    • Bug 33931: obfs4 bridges are used instead of meek if meek is selected in Tor Browser for Android alpha
  • Build System
    • All Platforms
      • Update Go to 1.13.11
      • Bug 33380: Add *.json to sha256sums-unsigned-build.txt
    • Windows
      • Bug 33802: --enable-secure-api is not supported anymore in mingw-w64
    • Linux
    • Android
      • Bug 28765: LibEvent Build for Android
      • Bug 28766: Tor Build for Android
      • Bug 28803: Integrate building Pluggable Transports for Android
      • Bug 30461: Clean up tor-android-service project
      • Bug 32993: Package Tor With Tor Android Service Project
      • Bug 33685: Add Support for Building zlib for Android

Tor Browser does spoof the user-agent string in the HTTP header. The real OS is available via javascript because some javascript apps break if the browser lies to them about the OS (because other assumptions are wrong in the future). This is the trade-off: break the web or reveal the OS. If you use Tor Browser's Safest setting then you will protect yourself against revealing your operating system.

Because then Tor Browser users are additionally partitioned into people who use the default setting and those who are spoofing their operating system (and the second group will likely be much smaller than the first). This is not meant to imply Tor Browser won't provide such a configuration option, but it is not a priority.

Can you explain why spoofing your operating system is of such importance?

"Can you explain why spoofing your operating system [...]"

Interresting.
The user of TBB have to explain why one not really necessary distinction-/fingerprinting-feature, the OS, must be visible with Javascript -unspoofable.
Possible convenience for very few people vs. anti-fingerprinting for all?

That doesn't even make any logical sense.

Considering the vast majority of data harvesting websites utilize javascript.. what is the point of spoofing the user-agent string at all? To say Tor spoofs it when spoofing would have no real world impact for the average Tor user? To wit:

"Black-or-white logical fallacy: Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist."

Of course more possibilities exist. Give the user control over this specific function, if they so desire it. 'Safest' setting is not a valid answer as it breaks everything else.

We want to thread the needle, and not with a sledgehammer.

zoobab

June 16, 2020

Permalink

Suggestion: Remove metadata from uploads with something like exiftool -all=

Maybe make it optional, dunno. I think whistleblowers could benefit from this a lot.

zoobab

June 17, 2020

Permalink

Hi,
as far as I know the Tor Browser is based on Firefox ESR.. What is the reason then to send the website referer when opening a link in new tab. Firefox ESR doesn't seem to be doing the same thing.

Thanks

Well yeah exactly. I right click on a link to open it in a new tab. Then if I refresh the new tab after the site has fully loaded, while opening the web developer tools network, the referer is sent with the get request. If I right click https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security/Referrer
the referer will be sent as:
Referer: https://blog.torproject.org/
Why is this happening? I tried the same on Firefox ESR & as one would expect, it did not send the referer.

Many thanks.

Why would one expect the request to not include a referrer? This sounds exactly like the correct behavior (based on the purpose of the Referer header). I would expect Firefox includes a referrer, too. Opening a link in a new tab does not break the chain of context between the source and destination webpages. If you right-clicked on the link and copied the URL and then pasted that URL in a URL bar, then I would expect that Firefox would not know or include a referrer.

zoobab

June 20, 2020

Permalink

When did you re-allow enterprise policies? Does this mean this is now safe to use?
Why is canvas blocking only temporarily possible? Browserleaks.com, e.g., is always (after a Tor restart) able to extract canvas data on loading. Why does browserleaks report that i´m apparently using all sorts of adblock filters like fanboy etc. when actually i´m not subscribing to anything?

Enterprise Policy was first enabled in https://blog.torproject.org/new-release-tor-browser-95a12 (and it was included in 9.5 stable). It is only controllable by a file placed in the correct location in the Tor Browser installation. The dangerous parts of it should still be disabled. https://bugs.torproject.org/32418

Browserleaks sounds buggy, and for blocking canvas, Tor Browser should prompt you for permission before the website is allowed to extract data. Permissions are not saved across restarts (by default).

zoobab

June 26, 2020

Permalink

On Tor Browser 9.5 for Windows, with the security level set to "Safest," the NoScript plugin is not able to temporarily enable JavaScript for websites. This issue remains even if the plugin is instructed to override Tor's default security settings. I noticed the problem at protonirockerxow.onion, ProtonMail's onion site. The Tor Browser was used without modification beyond choosing the safest security level. I'm glad that the issue leaves the browser too secure instead of insecure. I would appreciate some help with this issue, as using the safest mode is important to me. Thank you in advance.