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While you are downloading, we recommend you read the release notes for Tails 5.18 .  They document all the changes in this new version: new features, problems that were solved, and known issues that have already been identified.

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Warnings: Tails is safe but not magic!

Tails is safer than any regular operating system. But Tails, or any software or operating system, cannot protect you from everything—even if they pretend to.

The recommendations below will keep you even safer, especially if you are at high risk.

Protecting your identity when using Tails

Tails is designed to hide your identity.

But some of your activities could reveal your identity:

  • Sharing files with metadata, such as date, time, location, and device information
  • Using Tails for more than one purpose at a time
Protecting your identity

Einschränkungen des Tor-Netzwerks

Tails uses the Tor network because it is the strongest and most popular network to protect from surveillance and censorship.

But Tor has limitations if you are concerned about:

  • Hiding that you are using Tor and Tails
  • Protecting your online communications from determined, skilled attackers
Limitations of Tor

Reduzieren sie die Risiken, wenn sie unsichere Computer nutzen

Tails kann gefahrlos auf einem Computer ausgeführt werden, der einen Virus hat.

Aber Tails kann nicht immer schützen, zum Beispiel bei:

  • Installation von einem infizierten Computer
  • Tails auf einem Computer mit einem kompromittierten BIOS, Firmware oder Hardware ausführen
Using untrusted computers

Protecting your identity when using Tails

Clean metadata from files before sharing them

Many files contain hidden data, or metadata:

  • JPEG and other image files often contain information about where a picture was taken and which camera was used.

  • Office documents often contain information about their author, and the date and time the document was created.

To help you clean metadata, Tails include Metadata Cleaner, a tool to remove metadata in a wide range of file formats.

Metadata has been used in the past to locate people from pictures they took. For an example, see NPR: Betrayed by metadata, John McAfee admits he's really in Guatemala.

Use Tails sessions for only one purpose at a time

If you use Tails sessions for more than one purpose at a time, an adversary could link your different activities together.

For example, if you log into different accounts on the same website in a single Tails session, the website could determine that the accounts are used by the same person. This is because websites can tell when 2 accounts are using the same Tor circuit.

To prevent an adversary from linking your activities together while using Tails, restart Tails between different activities. For example, restart Tails between checking your work email and your whistleblowing email.

We are not aware of any such attacks to deanonymize people online who used Tails for different purposes at a time.

If you worry that the files in your Persistent Storage could be used to link your activities together, consider using a different Tails USB stick for each activity. For example, use one Tails USB stick for your activism work and another one for your journalism work.

Einschränkungen des Tor-Netzwerks

Tails macht deutlich, dass Sie Tor und wahrscheinlich Tails verwenden

Alles, was Sie im Internet von Tails aus tun, geht über das Tor-Netzwerk.

Tor and Tails don't protect you by making you look like any random Internet user, but by making all Tor and Tails users look the same. It becomes impossible to know who is who among them.

  • Your Internet service provider (ISP) and local network can see that you connect to the Tor network. They still cannot know what sites you visit. To hide that you connect to Tor, you can use a Tor bridge.

  • The sites that you visit can know that you are using Tor, because the list of exit nodes of the Tor network is public.

Parental controls, Internet service providers, and countries with heavy censorship can identify and block connections to the Tor network that don't use Tor bridges.

Many websites ask you to solve a CAPTCHA or block access from the Tor network.

Exit nodes can intercept traffic to the destination server

Tor hides your location from destination servers, but it does not encrypt all your communication. The last relay of a Tor circuit, called the exit node, establishes the actual connection to the destination server. This last step can be unencrypted.

A Tor
connection goes through 3 relays with the last one establishing the actual
connection to the final destination

The exit node can:

  • Observe your traffic. That is why Tor Browser and Tails include tools, like HTTPS Everywhere, to encrypt the connection between the exit node and the destination server, whenever possible.

  • Pretend to be the destination server, a technique known as machine-in-the-middle attack (MitM). That is why you should pay even more attention to the security warnings in Tor Browser. If you get such a warning, use the New Identity feature of Tor Browser to change exit node.

Warning: Potential Security Risk
Ahead

To learn more about what information is available to someone observing the different parts of a Tor circuit, see the interactive graphics at Tor FAQ: Can exit nodes eavesdrop on communications?.

Tor exit nodes have been used in the past to collect sensitive information from unencrypted connections. Malicious exit nodes are regularly identified and removed from the Tor network. For an example, see Ars Technica: Security expert used Tor to collect government e-mail passwords.

Adversaries watching both ends of a Tor circuit could identify users

An adversary, who could control the 3 relays in a circuit, could deanonymize Tor users.

Tor chooses 3 relays that belong to 3 different network operators for each circuit.

Tails takes extra measures to use different circuits for different applications.

The Tor network has more than 6 000 relays. Organizations running Tor relays include universities like the MIT, activist groups like Riseup, nonprofits like Derechos Digitales, Internet hosting companies like Private Internet Access, etc. The huge diversity of people and organizations running Tor relays makes it more secure and more sustainable.

A powerful adversary, who could analyze the timing and shape of the traffic entering and exiting the Tor network, might be able to deanonymize Tor users. These attacks are called end-to-end correlation attacks, because the attacker has to observe both ends of a Tor circuit at the same time.

No anonymity network used for rapid connections, like browsing the web or instant messaging, can protect 100% from end-to-end correlation attacks. In this case, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are less secure than Tor, because they do not use 3 independent relays.

End-to-end correlation attacks have been studied in research papers, but we don't know of any actual use to deanonymize Tor users. For an example, see Murdoch and Zieliński: Sampled Traffic Analysis by Internet-Exchange-Level Adversaries.

Reduzieren sie die Risiken, wenn sie unsichere Computer nutzen

Installieren Sie Tails von einem Computer aus, dem Sie vertrauen

Tails schützt Sie vor Viren und Malware die sich auf Ihrem normalen Betriebssystem befinden, weil Tails unabhängig von anderen Betriebssystemen arbeitet.

Aber Tails wird möglicherweise beeinträchtigt wenn Sie Tails von einem kompromittierten Betriebssystem aus installieren. Diese Tipps reduzieren dieses Risiko:

  • Installieren Sie Tails unbedingt von einem vertrauenswürdigen Betriebssystem aus. Laden Sie Tails zum Beispiel auf einem Computer ohne Viren herunter oder klonen Sie Tails von einem vertrauenswürdigen Freund.

  • Do not plug in your Tails USB stick while another operating system is running on the computer.

  • Nutzen Sie Ihren Tails USB-Stick ausschliesslich um Tails auszuführen. Nutzen Sie Ihren Tails USB-Stick nicht um Daten von oder zu einem anderen Betriebssystem zu transferieren.

Wenn Sie befürchten, dass Tails beschädigt sein könnte, führen Sie ein manual upgrade von einem vertrauenswürdigen Betriebssystem aus durch.

Uns sind keinerlei Viren bekannt, die Tails infizieren könnten. Aber es ist möglich, dass in Zukunft ein solcher Virus existieren könnte.

Kein Betriebssystem kann vor Hardwaremanipulationen schützen

Your computer might be compromised if its physical components have been altered. For example, if a keylogger has been physically installed on your computer, your passwords, personal information, and other data typed on your keyboard could be stored and accessed by someone else, even if you are using Tails.

Try to keep your computer in a safe location. Hardware alterations are more likely on public computers, in internet cafés or libraries, and on desktop computers, where a device is easier to hide.

Wenn sie denken, das ein Computer möglicherweise modifiziert wurde, dann:

  • Nutzen sie einen Passwort Manager um sicher Passwörter einzufügen. So müssen sie das Passwort nicht tippen und es ist nicht im Klartext für z.B. für Kameras oder Leute die ihnen über die Schulter schauen zu erkennen.

  • Nutzen sie die Bildschirmtastatur, wenn sie einen öffentlichen Computer nutzen oder sie denken, dass er möglicherweise einen Keylogger haben könnte.

Keylogger sind einfach zu beschaffen und meistens nicht erkennbar. Ein Beispiel sehen sie hier: KeeLog: KeyGrabber forensic keylogger getting started.

Other hardware alterations are much more complicated and expensive to install. For an example, see Ars Technica: Photos of an NSA “upgrade” factory show Cisco router getting implant.

No operating system can protect against BIOS and firmware attacks

Firmware includes the BIOS or UEFI and other software stored in electronic chips on the computer. All operating systems, including Tails, depend on firmware to start and run, so no operating system can protect against a firmware attack. In the same way that a car depends on the quality of the road it is driving on, operating systems depend on their firmware.

Keeping your computer in a safe location can protect against some firmware attacks, but some other firmware attacks can be performed remotely.

Firmware attacks have been demonstrated, but are complicated and expensive to perform. We don't know of any actual use against Tails users. For an example, see LegbaCore: Stealing GPG keys/emails in Tails via remote firmware infection.

Because you always have to adapt your digital security practices to your specific needs and threats, we encourage you to learn more by reading the following guides:

5.18

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Continue installing or upgrading Tails

Schlagen Sie für detailliertere Anweisungen in der Dokumentation von Ubuntu nach: