Tails stands for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System” and is used to anonymize the Tor network, through whose node computer the network traffic is routed. It is designed as a live system for use on USB sticks or DVDs and specializes in anonymity and privacy of its users. The basis is Debian Testing.
The new version of Tails is based on kernel 4.19.28 and comes with updated versions of some packages. These include Tor Browser 8.0.7, Tor 0.3.5.8 and Thunderbird 65.1.0. In addition, the Intel microcode has been updated to 3.20180807a.2, which offers better protection against further Specter variants as well as against Meltdown and Level 1 Terminal Fault (L1TF).
Tails 3.13 provides support for the Bopomofo input method for Chinese characters. The method supports Zhuyin, a non-Latin phonetic transcription for the Chinese language. The name Bopomofo is composed of the first four characters of this notation. At the same time, support for the pinyin input method has also been improved.
An error that caused persistence mode configuration to be lost has been fixed. The configuration is now saved with every change. The Additional Software feature will be prevented from downloading any packages that are already in persistent mode storage. A regression introduced with Tails 3.9 prevented Tor Browser from version 8.x from using a localized version of Tor Launcher. The bug has now been fixed.
Tails 3.13 closes many security vulnerabilities in Kernel, Tor Browser, Thunderbird and OpenSSL, OpenSSH and OpenJPEG. Users should update Tails in a timely manner. Another security issue concerns the Bitcoin Wallet Electrum. An attacker’s prepared Electrum servers were used for phishing attacks. The clients vulnerable to the attack were blocked for all server access, the new clients are not yet available in Debian. A decision on the future of Electrum in Tails is still in the balance.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht