Feeds

New secure OS will put Tails between NSA's legs

Debian-derived OS funnels everything through Tor and HTTPS

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Secure Linux distribution Tails has reached the milestone of a version 1.0 release, after its developers crushed a laundry list of bugs.

The Debian-based operating system is a “live OS” - it boots from removable media rather than a hard disk. It also funnels all data through Tor and uses a smattering of cryptography and anonymising tools to help users circumvent censorship and lock out snoops and spooks. For example, Tails encrypts storage devices using the Linux Unified Key Setup, uses the HTTPS Everywhere tool to encrypt web traffic, and locks down emails with OpenPGP and protects instant messages with Off The Record.

Version 1.0 status is apt because the release quashes numerous nasty flaws. Detailed here, the fixes include client-side blacklists for Tor directory authority keys vulnerable to the headline-grabbing Heartbleed bug that mean Tails 1.0 clients will be protected even if attackers compromised a majority of authority signing and identity keys.

Other fixes include an upgrade to Mozilla Firefox ESR portable version 24.5.0, plus repairs to ensure I2P connections remain safe and to an Open Java Development Kit flaw that allowed execution of arbitrary code.

Tor is a significant irritant to law enforcement authorities: US agencies have labelled it “the King of high secure, low latency Internet Anonymity” and suggested it has no likely heir.

Tails' reliance on Tor means that opinion holds true, but with the new OS now available here, the NSA et al look to have another type of entity to crown or damn. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.