wiki:TorWeeklyNews/2015/26

Version 3 (modified by harmony, 4 years ago) (diff)

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104th issue of Tor Weekly News. Covering what's happening from June 23rd, 2015 to July 1st, 2015. To be released on July 2nd, 2015.

Editor: Harmony

Subject: Tor Weekly News — July 2nd, 2015

========================================================================
Tor Weekly News                                           July 2nd, 2015
========================================================================

Welcome to the twenty-sixth issue in 2015 of Tor Weekly News, the weekly
newsletter that covers what’s happening in the Tor community.

Contents
--------

 1. Tor Messenger Third Alpha is out
 2. OnionBalance 0.0.1 is out
 3. Tor Weekly News turns two
 4. Monthly status reports for June 2015
 5. Miscellaneous news
 6. Upcoming events

Tor Messenger Third Alpha is out
--------------------------------

Sukhbir Singh and Arlo Breault put out a third alpha version [XXX] of
Tor Messenger, the Instantbird-based instant messaging client with
Tor and Off-the-Record encryption enabled by default.

This release comes with packages for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as
32-bit and 64-bit Linux. Major improvements include the ability to
create XMPP accounts in-band (that is, by logging in with the desired
account credentials, if the chat server supports this), meaning that
users no longer have to create their accounts beforehand over a non-Tor
connection; usability improvements to the Off-the-Record extension; an
installable Arabic language pack, courtesy of Sherief Alaa (with more
languages to follow); and other network- and application-related
enhancements.

However, this is still an alpha release: “there may be serious privacy
leaks and other issues”, so “please DO NOT recommend Tor Messenger to
end users” just yet. If you’d like to test the software out, please see
Sukhbir’s announcement for download links and installation instructions,
then submit your feedback on Tor’s bug tracker [XXX] with the “Tor
Messenger” component, or on the tor-dev mailing list or IRC channel.

 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-June/008991.html
 [XXX]: https://trac.torproject.org

OnionBalance 0.0.1 is out
-------------------------

Donncha O’Cearbhaill, one of the students participating in the
first-ever Tor Summer of Privacy [XXX], released the first alpha version
of his OnionBalance tool [XXX]. OnionBalance “provides load-balancing
and redundancy for Tor hidden services by distributing client requests
to multiple backend Tor instances”; if you run an onion service that
handles a large number of client requests, or require automatic failover
in the event that some of your hardware fails or is seized, OnionBalance
will help to distribute the load evenly and efficiently.

The tool is currently under heavy development, and “there are likely
bugs which cause the OnionBalance service to crash or not operate
correctly”. “I would very much appreciate any feedback or bug reports.
In particular I would like to improve the documentation and make the
tool easier for operators to install and run”, writes Donncha. Please
see the release announcement for further information and installation
instructions.

 [XXX]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-summer-privacy-projects
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-July/038312.html

Tor Weekly News turns two
-------------------------

The first issue of Tor Weekly News was sent out on July 3rd, 2013 [XXX].
Since the last anniversary, we’ve reported on many positive developments
in the Tor community: work by Facebook security engineers to offer
a Tor onion service for the world’s largest social network [XXX]; the
Library Freedom Project helping American public libraries to protect
their patrons’ right to free expression with Tor [XXX]; a significant
community-chosen donation by Reddit to the Tor Project [XXX]; credits
for Tor and Tails in an Academy Award-winning documentary film [XXX];
and of course the daily software development, research, and innovation
that ensure security and anonymity for millions of Internet users around
the world. Last month we were even able to lead our hundredth issue with
the wonderful news that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom
of opinion and expression has endorsed the Tor Project’s work in his
first report to the UN Human Rights Council [XXX].

We’re always grateful for help and suggestions; if you’d like to get
involved, see the information below for more details. Many thanks to
everyone who has helped to write and proofread this newsletter over the
past two years. 

 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2013-July/028770.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-February/000084.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2014-November/000070.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-March/000087.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-February/000086.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-June/000100.html

Monthly status reports for June 2015
------------------------------------

The wave of regular monthly reports from Tor project members for the
month of June has begun. Damian Johnson released his report first [XXX]
(with an update on Nyx development), followed by reports from Karsten
Loesing [XXX] (on project management and Tor network tools), Jacob
Appelbaum [XXX] (on outreach and advocacy), David Goulet [XXX] (on
onion service development), and Pearl Crescent [XXX] (on development of
Tor Browser and related software).

Mike Perry sent out the report for the Tor Browser team [XXX].

 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-June/000858.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000860.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000861.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000863.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000864.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000859.html

Miscellaneous news
------------------

Griffin Boyce offered an update [XXX] on the development status of
Stormy, the one-click onion service setup tool: “Right now, the scripts
are undergoing third-party testing to identify any obvious bugs before
sending them to security auditors”.

 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-July/008994.html

Chloe posted details of an experiment [XXX] to detect malicious Tor
relays that might be stealing usernames and passwords that are not
protected by HTTPS connections.

 [XXX]: https://chloe.re/2015/06/20/a-month-with-badonions/

Juha Nurmi warned [XXX] that an attacker is creating fake onion
addresses that resemble those of popular onion services, including
ahmia.fi, and using them to interfere with the content of onion pages as
clients request them. Another update [XXX] gives more information about
the details of the attack.

 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-June/038295.html
 [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-July/038318.html
 
Upcoming events
---------------

  Jul 03 19:00 UTC | Tails contributors meeting
                   | #tails-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   | https://mailman.boum.org/pipermail/tails-project/2015-June/000242.html
                   |
  Jul 06 17:00 UTC | OONI development meeting
                   | #ooni, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Jul 06 18:00 UTC | Tor Browser meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Jul 07 18:00 UTC | little-t tor patch workshop
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   | https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-June/008979.html
                   |
  Jul 08 02:00 UTC | Pluggable transports/bridges meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   |
  Jul 08 13:30 UTC | little-t tor development meeting
                   | #tor-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   | https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-dev/2015-June/008979.html
                   |
  Jul 12 19:00 UTC | Tails low hanging fruit session
                   | #tails-dev, irc.oftc.net
                   | https://mailman.boum.org/pipermail/tails-project/2015-July/000244.html


This issue of Tor Weekly News has been assembled by Harmony.

Want to continue reading TWN? Please help us create this newsletter.
We still need more volunteers to watch the Tor community and report
important news. Please see the project page [XXX], write down your
name and subscribe to the team mailing list [XXX] if you want to
get involved!

  [XXX]: https://trac.torproject.org/projects/tor/wiki/TorWeeklyNews
  [XXX]: https://lists.torproject.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/news-team