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Tails 5.5 issued but includes worrying Linux kernel bug

The Tails logo on a city background

The Tails OS team has announced the availability of Tails 5.5. It comes with Tor Browser 11.5.4 which includes bug fixes on several platforms. Unfortunately, the team did warn that a serious kernel vulnerability was recently discovered and that this is currently exploitable in the latest version of Tails – hopefully, fixes should be integrated in time for the next Tails release.

Interestingly, Tails users may not have to wait too long for Tails 5.6 because the release calendar says that it’s due around October 25th following the availability of Firefox 102.4. While you wait for a fix to the kernel vulnerability, it’d be wise to stay off untrusted Wi-Fi networks.

Automatic upgrades to Tails 5.5 are available from Tails 5.0 or later. When you first connect to Wi-Fi in Tails, you should see a pop-up letting you know that an update is available. It will download the update over the Tor network, so it could take a while to complete. If you prefer, you can do a manual upgrade which may be faster for you to do, it’s also a good option if you have problems with the automatic update.

If you use persistent storage to store your files on Tails, you should ensure you are performing an upgrade rather than a clean install because your files will be deleted if you perform the latter. Tails users should upgrade to the new version quickly to ensure they are protected against the latest vulnerabilities.

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