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Version 1.3 of TAILS available now

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

March 3, 2015

The Amnesiac Incognito Live System (TAILS) is a highly secure Linux based Operating System (OS) that forces all internet traffic through the Tor anonymity network (refusing non-Tor connections), can used on any computer but leaves no trace (all data is stored in RAM, which is automatically deleted when a session is finished), and comes with advanced cryptographic tools built-in.

A tool of choice for ex-NSA contactor Edward Snowden, we have reviews TAILS before, and were left impressed. The team behind TAILS have just released new version (1.3) of the OS.

TAILS 1.3

New features

Electrum Bitcoin wallet

The new version of TAILS includes a Bitcoin wallet called Electrum. It is touted as being easier to use than most such Bitcoin clients, and seems very fully-featured, but what really sets Electrum apart is Bitcoin Client persistence. What this means is that in the event of loss or if you want to use your wallet on a different device, a wallet can be recreated from just a password (known as a seed).

Of course, if you forget/lose your seed as well as your wallet then your Bitcoins will be gone forever, but this does seem a very robust recovery solution.

Updated Tor browser

TAILS 1.3 uses the newest version of the Tor browser (4.0.4), which uses AppArmor to protect the system and your data from some types of attack against Tor Browser (instructions on how to handle files with the new browser can be found here.)

obfs4 – The ‘obfourscator’

Similar to obfsproxy, TAILS uses the obfs4 pluggable transport to circumvent censorship by transforming the Tor traffic between the client and the bridge, so that all censors see is innocent-looking transformed traffic instead of the actual Tor traffic.

Keyringer

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is the most secure way yet devised to communicate over the internet. Fundamental to its cryptography is the use of private and shared secrets (also known as private and public keys – see our guide to GnuPG for further discussion on this subject). Keyringer is an OpenPGP command line program for managing and sharing secrets.

There have also been various minor changes and updates, which are listed in the Changelog.

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