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[tor-talk] Tor Weekly News â 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 whatâs happening in the Tor community.


 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 [1] 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

However, this is still an alpha release: âthere may be serious privacy
leaks and other issuesâ, so âplease DO NOT recommend Tor Messenger to
end usersâ just yet. If youâd like to test the software out, please see
Sukhbirâs announcement for download links and installation instructions,
then submit your feedback on Torâs bug tracker [2] with the âTor
Messengerâ component, or on the tor-dev mailing list or IRC channel.

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

OnionBalance 0.0.1 is out

Donncha OâCearbhaill, one of the students participating in the
first-ever Tor Summer of Privacy [3], released the first alpha version
of his OnionBalance tool [4]. OnionBalance âprovides load-balancing and
redundancy for Tor hidden services by distributing client requests to
multiple backend Tor instancesâ; 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 âthere are likely
bugs which cause the OnionBalance service to crash or not operate
correctlyâ. âI 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 runâ, writes Donncha. Please
see the release announcement for further information and installation

  [3]: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-summer-privacy-projects
  [4]: 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 [5].
Since the last anniversary, weâve reported on many positive developments
in the Tor community: work by Facebook security engineers to offer a Tor
onion service for the worldâs largest social network [6]; the Library
Freedom Project helping American public libraries to protect their
patronsâ right to free expression with Tor [7]; a significant
community-chosen donation by Reddit to the Tor Project [8]; credits for
Tor and Tails in an Academy Award-winning documentary film [9]; 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 Projectâs work in his first
report to the UN Human Rights Council [10].

Weâre always grateful for help and suggestions; if youâd 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. 

  [5]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2013-July/028770.html
  [6]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-February/000084.html
  [7]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2014-November/000070.html
  [8]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-March/000087.html
  [9]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-news/2015-February/000086.html
 [10]: 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 [11]
(with an update on Nyx development), followed by reports from Karsten
Loesing [12] (on project management and Tor network tools), Jacob
Appelbaum [13] (on outreach and advocacy), David Goulet [14] (on onion
service development), and Pearl Crescent [15] (on development of Tor
Browser and related software).

Mike Perry sent out the report for the Tor Browser team [16].

 [11]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-June/000858.html
 [12]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000860.html
 [13]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000861.html
 [14]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000863.html
 [15]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000864.html
 [16]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-reports/2015-July/000859.html

Miscellaneous news

Griffin Boyce offered an update [17] on the development status of
Stormy, the one-click onion service setup tool: âRight now, the scripts
are undergoing third-party testing to identify any obvious bugs before
sending them to security auditorsâ.

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

Chloe posted details of an experiment [18] to detect malicious Tor
relays that might be stealing usernames and passwords that are not
protected by HTTPS connections.

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

Juha Nurmi warned [19] 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 [20] gives more information about the
details of the attack.

 [19]: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2015-June/038295.html
 [20]: 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.

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