Feeds

Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert

Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Vulnerability analysis outfit Exodus Intelligence has warned that the Tails operating system has a number of critical vulnerabilities that can expose the identity of its users if properly finessed by an attacker.

Tails, which received a recommendation from fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, is a Debian Linux–based OS partially sponsored by Tor and designed to be used by journalists and others who want to keep their communications private. But the software's design is seriously flawed, Loc Nguyen, a researcher at Exodus, told El Reg.

"Tails is comprised of numerous components working in interchange," he said. "Notably the Exodus team were very impressed with the implementation and use of security technologies on the platform. However because there are numerous inter-locking mechanisms in play on the system, it's difficult to readily pinpoint a particular weak area."

Tails has a significant following among the privacy-conscious, and the open-source project is just about to release the first revision to the code. But Exodus said in a tweet that the new code still left the zero-day flaws it had identified open.

Exodus said it would release details about the zero-days in a series of blog posts next week.

The company makes its coin by identifying zero-day flaws in computer systems and selling the knowledge to its client base. Customers include the US Department of Defense and DARPA, but the company said it would not be selling the Tails information, as yet.

"These vulnerabilities are not being pushed to our clients, rather they are issues we intend to work with the vendor to fix," Nguyen said. "We announced the fact that we have these capabilities to spread the word to the community that no solution should be fully trusted to guarantee online anonymity." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.