Updated Tor Browser Releases

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 @ 12:06 PM gHale

The Tor Project released version 6.0 of its famous privacy-first Web browser, based on the Firefox 45-ESR release.

The browser has better HTML5 support and updated security features to safeguard encrypted traffic and its updates mechanism, officials said.

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There are a lot of people who do not like the Australis-based Firefox versions, among which 45-ESR is one, because of its revamped GUI users consider unlike Firefox, but rather more akin to Chrome.

Based on Firefox 45-ESR, Tor Browser 6.0 automatically brings in top-of-the-line HTML5 support, which should make it much easier to leave the Flash plugin turned off on the majority of sites you’re visiting.

Since Flash can give away details like your IP, you should be staying away from it altogether if you value Tor more for its privacy features rather than for its ability to throw a different IP at you every time you boot it up.

Secondly, Firefox 45-ESR also features support for the Push API for dynamic notifications, but also better support for the latest JavaScript standard, such as ES6 classes.

The Tor team also brought in an important fix for Mac OS X, where the Tor Browser from now on will be using code-signing in order to avoid getting blocked by OS X’s GateKeeper security app.

Another big change is modifications made to the browser’s encryption layer. Since the Tor Browser works on top of an encryption-first protocol, support for modern cryptography must be up to par.

That means Tor Browser 6.0 removed support for SHA-1 certificates, something that its bigger brothers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Edge unveiled this past winter. These browsers are a little bit tardy, mainly due to their huge userbases, and will be taking the first steps to remove SHA-1 at the end of June this year, and then a permanent step at the start of 2017.

Furthermore, the latest Tor Browser version also comes with a better update mechanism, which now checks the update package’s signature and hash before running the update file.

The team has also fixed a simple yet serious DLL hijacking issue and applied some quick fixes to patch some urgent bugs, but the Project promised to deliver complete fixes for these issues in later versions.

Last but not least, the Tor Project has also clarified the situation of its default search engine, Disconnect, which is now displaying search results via DuckDuckGo’s API, instead of Google.

The Tor team explains that, until Disconnect clarifies its situation with Google, the Tor Project has specifically asked the Disconnect team to supply them with DuckDuckGo search results instead of Bing.

The Tor Browser 6.0 is available for download for the Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems, but if you already have it installed, you should also be able to upgrade via its built-in updater. A full Tor Browser 6.0 changelog is also available.

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