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 maintaining the privacy of its users. The basis is Debian »Stretch« 9.9.
After the retracted version Tails 3.13.2, which fixed a critical hole in the Tor browser, Tails 3.14 has now been released in the schedule. Tails 3.13.2 had become necessary in response to Mozilla’s blunder, where an expired certificate disabled all extensions, exposing the Firefox-based browsers to potential attacks.
Tails 3.14 also closes some gaps, among others in the kernel, the Tor Browser, in Bind, Cups and Samba. In addition, a new Intel microcode has been integrated, which is directed against the ZombieLoad, RIDL and Fallout baptized newly discovered gaps in Intel processors. In this context, Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) was disabled for the affected processors. The kernel was raised to 4.19.37 and many firmware packages were updated. Tor Browser received a major update to version 8.5.
Removing less-used applications reduced the size of the image by about 40 MB. In addition to around 10 tools for the command line, the graphic apps Gobby, Pitivi and Traverso were also removed. All removed packages can be reinstalled using the Additional Software feature. An issue where Tails will start after installation but not then will continue to be investigated. Affected users are requested to contact the developers.
Because of the closed gaps, users are encouraged to update to Tails 3.14 in a timely manner. Automatic updates are available from 3.12, 3.12.1, 3.13, 3.13.1, and 3.13.2. The release of Tails 3.15 is scheduled for July 9th. For the foreseeable future, the project’s roadmap includes support for Secure Boot, the move to Wayland, the improvement of the technical infrastructure, and Tails 4 following the release of Debian 10 Buster.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht
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