Opened 6 years ago

Last modified 18 months ago

#9864 new project

Make it easier for users to do file verification

Reported by: mttp Owned by: Sherief
Priority: Medium Milestone:
Component: Applications/Tor Browser Version:
Severity: Normal Keywords: usability, firefox, GPG, signatures, needs-triage
Cc: mttp, mikeperry, Erinn, g.koppen@… Actual Points:
Parent ID: #3893 Points:
Reviewer: Sponsor:


Verifying the contents of the Tor Browser Bundle seems to be one of the most confusing things that we ask users to do. The help desk often gets requests from users seeking guidance on verifying bundles.

The website documentation on file signature verification we have can be found at Multiple users have reported that these inctructions are confusing. I don't think this entirely the fault of the page's author.

There are several issues here to consider:

1) On the file verification page we tell Windows users to download Gpg4win so they can download the bundles. Unfortunately there's no verification tool for gpg4win.

2) The signature verification page will be out-of-date once TBB 3 becomes stable. Verifying TBB 3 requires users to verify a signed text file of sha256sums, and then take the sha256sum of the package and see if it matches what's in the signed text file. Currently there is no way to take the sha256sum of anything on Windows unles you compile a program to do it yourself or download and run an unverified .exe file from any number of http-only websites that show up on a google search.

3) Command line interface is intimidating for many people. There are no instructions on our website for using GUI GnuPG frontends.

Child Tickets

Change History (7)

comment:1 Changed 6 years ago by mttp

Sherief has proposed distributing a tool to help users verify the signatures on downloaded packages. See this thread on the tor-dev mailing list for the discussion:

If this tool were built as a Firefox add-on, we could make use of Mozilla's existing distribution system as a trusted third party. Sherief and I are now investigating this possibility.

comment:2 Changed 6 years ago by Sherief

Component: - Select a componentTor bundles/installation

comment:3 Changed 6 years ago by mttp

Parent ID: #3893

Website changes probably belong on this ticket. I'm making that ticket the parent.

Another approach to this problem is discussed here. Improving UX for signature verification might help accomplish this and make this easier.

Last edited 6 years ago by mttp (previous) (diff)

comment:4 Changed 6 years ago by gk

Cc: g.koppen@… added

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by erinn

Keywords: needs-triage added

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by erinn

Component: Tor bundles/installationTor Browser

comment:7 Changed 18 months ago by teor

Severity: Normal

Set all open tickets without a severity to "Normal"

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