Sat. Jul 11th, 2020

Tails OS 4.8 releases: preserving your privacy and anonymity

2 min read

Tails OS is a live operating system that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card.

It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity and helps you to:

  • use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
  • leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly;
  • use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.

Tails OS 4.8 has been released.

Changelog

New features

  • We disabled the Unsafe Browser by default and clarified that the Unsafe Browser can be used to deanonymize you.

    An attacker could exploit a security vulnerability in another application in Tails to start an invisible Unsafe Browser and reveal your IP address, even if you are not using the Unsafe Browser.

    For example, an attacker could exploit a security vulnerability in Thunderbird by sending you a phishing email that could start an invisible Unsafe Browser and reveal them your IP address.

    Such an attack is very unlikely but could be performed by a strong attacker, such as a government or a hacking firm.

    This is why we recommend that you:

    • Only enable the Unsafe Browser if you need to log in to a captive portal.
    • Always upgrade to the latest version of Tails to fix known vulnerabilities as soon as possible.
  • We added a new feature of the Persistent Storage to save the settings from the Welcome Screen.

    This feature is beta and only the additional setting to enable the Unsafe Browser is made persistent. The other settings (language, keyboard, and other additional settings) will be made persistent in Tails 4.9 (July 28).

    new Welcome Screen feature in the Persistent Storage settings

Changes and updates

  • Update Tor Browser to 9.5.1.
  • Update Thunderbird to 68.9.0.
  • Update Linux to 5.6.0. This should improve the support for newer hardware (graphics, Wi-Fi, etc.).

Fixed problems

  • Fix the Find in page feature of Thunderbird. (#17328)
  • Fix shutting down automatically the laptop when resuming from suspend with the Tails USB stick removed. (#16787)
  • Notify always when MAC address spoofing fails and the network interface is disabled. (#17779)
  • Fix the import of OpenPGP public keys in binary format (non armored) from the Files browser.

For more details, read our changelog.

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