If you’re a regular Tor user, there’s a good chance you’ve had the browser open in the last 24 hours. If that’s you, you’ll have probably been asked to update to the new 7.0.6 release, here’s a quick overview of what the new update brings and when to expect the following version.
The biggest change included in this release is that it uses the new stable Tor, version 0.3.1.7 which was released earlier in the month. Here’s what the Tor Project said about the 0.3.1 series:
“With the 0.3.1 series, Tor now serves and downloads directory information in more compact formats, to save on bandwidth overhead. It also contains a new padding system to resist netflow-based traffic analysis, and experimental support for building parts of Tor in Rust (though no parts of Tor are in Rust yet). There are also numerous small features, bug fixes on earlier release series, and groundwork for the onion series revamp of 0.3.2.”
That’s a pretty decent update on the back-end. In terms of front-end changes, Tor Browser 7.0.6 is now based on Firefox 52.4.0 ESR (Extended Support Release) which includes security patches to protect against exploits an attacker may be using. The HTTPS Everywhere and NoScript add-ons have been updated to newer versions too.
The last major change in the release is a very helpful security feature. You may have seen by now the warning which you receive when you maximise your browser window. This warning tells you that you can be more easily tracked by maximising your browser. With this release you’ll get the warning about windows size whenever you try to enter full screen mode in your browser too.
Overall, 7.0.6 is a nice update to the Tor foundations with the inclusion of Tor 0.3.1.7, but there’s nothing really major with this release. This will likely be the situation on the 14th of November when, presumably, Tor 7.0.7 is released. It will be based of Firefox 52.5, as opposed to Firefox 57, so there will be no major UI overhauls in the next update.