Tor Browser 7.5 is released
by boklm | January 23, 2018
This release features important security updates to Firefox.
Apart from the usual Firefox security updates it contains some notable improvements compared to the 7.0 series. Here are the highlights:
We redesigned parts of the Tor Browser user interface. One of the major improvements for our users is our new Tor Launcher experience. This work is based on the findings published at ‘A Usability Evaluation of Tor Launcher’, a paper done by Linda Lee et al. At our work we iterated on the redesign proposed by the research, improving it even further. Here are the main changes we would like to highlight:
Our old screen had way too much information for the users, leading many of them to spend great time confused about what to do. Some users at the paper experiment spent up to 40min confused about what they needed to be doing here. Besides simplifying the screen and the message, to make it easier for the user to know if they need to configure anything or not, we also did a ‘brand refresh’ bringing our logo to the launcher.
Censorship circumvention configuration
This is one of the most important steps for a user who is trying to connect to Tor while their network is censoring Tor. We also worked really hard to make sure the UI text would make it easy for the user to understand what a bridge is for and how to configure to use one. Another update was a little tip we added at the drop-down menu (as you can see below) for which bridge to use in countries that have very sophisticated censorship methods.
Proxy help information
The proxy settings at our Tor Launcher configuration wizard is an important feature for users who are under a network that demands such configuration. But it can also lead to a lot of confusion if the user has no idea what a proxy is. Since it is a very important feature for users, we decided to keep it in the main configuration screen and introduced a help prompt with an explanation of when someone would need such configuration.
As part of our work with the UX team, we will also be coordinating user testing of this new UI to continue iterating and make sure we are always improving our users’ experience. We are also planning a series of improvements not only for the Tor Launcher flow but for the whole browser experience (once you are connected to Tor) including a new user onboarding flow. And last but not least we are streamlining both our mobile and desktop experience: Tor Browser 7.5 adapted the security slider design we did for mobile bringing the improved user experience to the desktop as well.
- We ship the first release in Tor’s 0.3.2 series, 0.3.2.9. This release includes support for the Next Generation of Onion Services.
- On the security side we enabled content sandboxing on Windows and fixed remaining issues on Linux that prevented printing to file from working properly. Additionally, we improved the compiler hardening on macOS and fixed holes in the W^X mitigation on Windows.
- We finally moved away from Gitian/tor-browser-bundle as the base of our reproducible builds environment. Over the past weeks and months rbm/tor-browser-build got developed making it much easier to reproduce Tor Browser builds and to add reproducible builds for new platforms and architectures. This will allow us to ship 64bit bundles for Windows (currently in the alpha series available) and bundles for Android at the same day as the release for the current platforms/architectures is getting out.
The full changelog since Tor Browser 7.0.11 is:
- All Platforms
- Update Firefox to 52.6.0esr
- Update Tor to 0.3.2.9
- Update OpenSSL to 1.0.2n
- Update Torbutton to 22.214.171.124
- Update Tor Launcher to 0.2.14.3
- Bug 23262: Implement integrated progress bar
- Bug 23261: implement configuration portion of new Tor Launcher UI
- Bug 24623: Revise “country that censors Tor” text
- Bug 24624: tbb-logo.svg may cause network access
- Bug 23240: Retrieve current bootstrap progress before showing progress bar
- Bug 24428: Bootstrap error message sometimes lost
- Bug 22232: Add README on use of bootstrap status messages
- Bug 10573: Replace deprecated nsILocalFile with nsIFile (code clean-up)
- Translations update
- Update HTTPS Everywhere to 2018.1.11
- Update NoScript to 126.96.36.199
- Bug 23104: CSS line-height reveals the platform Tor Browser is running on
- Bug 24398: Plugin-container process exhausts memory
- Bug 24756: Add noisebridge01 obfs4 bridge configuration
- OS X
- Bug 22084: Spoof network information API
- Build System
- All Platforms
- Switch from gitian/tor-browser-bundle to rbm/tor-browser-build
- All Platforms