<p>Torbutton 1.2.0 adds several new security features to protect your
anonymity from all the major threats we know about. The defaults should be
fine (and safest!) for most people, but in case you are the tweaker type,
or if you prefer to try to outsource some options to more flexible extensions,
here is the complete list. (In an ideal world, these descriptions should all be
tooltips in the extension itself, but Firefox bugs <a
href="https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=45375">45375</a> and <a
<li>Disable plugins on Tor Usage (crucial)<p>
This option is key to Tor security. Plugins perform their own networking
independent of the browser, and many plugins only partially obey even their own
<li>Isolate Dynamic Content to Tor State (crucial)<p>
on tabs that are loaded during a Tor state different than the current one,
to prevent delayed fetches of injected URLs that contain unique identifiers,
and to prevent meta-refresh tags from revealing your IP when you turn off
Tor. It also prevents all fetches from tabs loaded with an opposite Tor
popups from revealing your IP address if you disable Tor.
pages to hook the Date object to mask your timezone, and to hook the navigator
object to mask OS and user agent properties not handled by the standard
Firefox user agent override settings.
<li>Resize window dimensions to multiples of 50px on toggle (recommended)<p>
To cut down on the amount of state available to fingerprint users uniquely,
this pref causes windows to be resized to a multiple of 50 pixels on each
side when Tor is enabled and pages are loaded.
<li>Disable Updates During Tor (recommended)<p>
Under Firefox 2, many extension authors did not update their extensions from
SSL-enabled websites. It is possible for malicious Tor nodes to hijack these extensions and replace them with malicious ones, or add malicious code to
existing extensions. Since Firefox 3 now enforces encrypted and/or
authenticated updates, this setting is no longer as important as it once
was (though updates do leak information about which extensions you have, it is
<li>Disable Search Suggestions during Tor (optional)<p>
This optional setting governs if you get Google search suggestions during Tor
usage. Since no cookie is transmitted during search suggestions, this is a
relatively benign behavior.
<li>Block Livemarks updates during Tor usage (recommended)<p>
This setting causes Torbutton to disable your <a
updates. Since most people use Live bookmarks for RSS feeds from their blog,
their friends' blogs, the wikipedia page they edit, and other such things,
these updates probably should not happen over Tor. This feature takes effect
in Firefox 3.5 and above only.
<li>Block Tor/Non-Tor access to network from file:// urls (recommended)<p>
These settings prevent local html documents from transmitting local files to
arbitrary websites <a href="http://www.gnucitizen.org/blog/content-disposition-hacking/">under Firefox 2</a>. Since exit nodes can insert headers that
force the browser to save arbitrary pages locally (and also inject script into
arbitrary html files you save to disk via Tor), it is probably a good idea to
leave this setting on.
<li>Close all Non-Tor/Tor windows and tabs on toggle (optional)<p>
These two settings allow you to obtain a greater degree of assurance that
after you toggle out of Tor, the pages are really gone and can't perform any
extra network activity. Currently, there is no known way that pages can still
perform activity after toggle, but these options exist as a backup measure
just in case a flaw is discovered. They can also serve as a handy 'Boss
Button' feature for clearing all Tor browsing off your screen in a hurry.
<li>Isolate access to history navigation to Tor state (crucial)<p>
the session history to load pages that were fetched in a different Tor state
than the current one. Since this can be used to correlate Tor and Non-Tor
activity and thus determine your IP address, it is marked as a crucial
<li>Block History Reads during Tor (crucial)<p>
Based on code contributed by <a href="http://www.collinjackson.com/">Collin
Jackson</a>, when enabled and Tor is enabled, this setting prevents the
rendering engine from knowing if certain links were visited. This mechanism
defeats all document-based history disclosure attacks, including CSS-only
<li>Block History Reads during Non-Tor (recommended)<p>
This setting accomplishes the same but for your Non-Tor activity.
<li>Block History Writes during Tor (recommended)<p>
This setting prevents the rendering engine from recording visited URLs, and
also disables download manager history. Note that if you allow writing of Tor history,
it is recommended that you disable non-Tor history reads, since malicious
websites you visit without Tor can query your history for .onion sites and
other history recorded during Tor usage (such as Google queries).
<li>Block History Writes during Non-Tor (optional)<p>
This setting also disables recording any history information during Non-Tor
<li>Clear History During Tor Toggle (optional)<p>
This is an alternate setting to use instead of (or in addition to) blocking
history reads or writes.
<li>Block Password+Form saving during Tor/Non-Tor<p>
These options govern if the browser writes your passwords and search
submissions to disk for the given state.
<li>Block Tor disk cache and clear all cache on Tor Toggle<p>
Since the browser cache can be leveraged to store unique identifiers, cache
must not persist across Tor sessions. This option keeps the memory cache active
during Tor usage for performance, but blocks disk access for caching.
<li>Block disk and memory cache during Tor<p>
This setting entirely blocks the cache during Tor, but preserves it for
<li>Clear Cookies on Tor Toggle<p>
Fully clears all cookies on Tor toggle.
<li>Store Non-Tor cookies in a protected jar<p>
This option stores your persistent Non-Tor cookies in a special cookie jar
file, in case you wish to preserve some cookies. Based on code contributed
by <a href="http://www.collinjackson.com/">Collin Jackson</a>. It is
compatible with third party extensions that you use to manage your Non-Tor
cookies. Your Tor cookies will be cleared on toggle, of course.
<li>Store both Non-Tor and Tor cookies in a protected jar (dangerous)<p>
This option stores your persistent Tor and Non-Tor cookies
separate cookie jar files. Note that it is a bad idea to keep Tor
cookies around for any length of time, as they can be retrieved by exit
nodes that inject spoofed forms into plaintext pages you fetch.
<li>Manage My Own Cookies (dangerous)<p>
This setting allows you to manage your own cookies with an alternate
extension, such as <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/82">CookieCuller</a>. Note that this is particularly dangerous,
since malicious exit nodes can spoof document elements that appear to be from
sites you have preserved cookies for (and can then do things like fetch your
entire gmail inbox, even if you were not using gmail or visiting any google
pages at the time!).
<li>Do not write Tor/Non-Tor cookies to disk<p>
These settings prevent Firefox from writing any cookies to disk during the
corresponding Tor state. If cookie jars are enabled, those jars will
exist in memory only, and will be cleared when Firefox exits.
<li>Disable DOM Storage during Tor usage (crucial)<p>
Firefox has recently added the ability to store additional state and
identifiers in persistent tables, called <a
Obviously this can compromise your anonymity if stored content can be
fetched across Tor-state.
<li>Clear HTTP auth sessions (recommended)<p>
HTTP authentication credentials can be probed by exit nodes and used to both confirm that you visit a certain site that uses HTTP auth, and also impersonate you on this site.
<li>Clear cookies on Tor/Non-Tor shutdown<p>
These settings install a shutdown handler to clear cookies on Tor
and/or Non-Tor browser shutdown. It is independent of your Clear Private Data
settings, and does in fact clear the corresponding cookie jars.
<li>Prevent session store from saving Tor-loaded tabs (recommended)<p>
This option augments the session store to prevent it from writing out
Tor-loaded tabs to disk. Unfortunately, this also disables your ability to
undo closed tabs. The reason why this setting is recommended is because
after a session crash, your browser will be in an undefined Tor state, and
can potentially load a bunch of Tor tabs without Tor. The following option
is another alternative to protect against this.
<li>On normal startup, set state to: Tor, Non-Tor, Shutdown State<p>
This setting allows you to choose which Tor state you want the browser to
start in normally: Tor, Non-Tor, or whatever state the browser shut down in.
<li>On crash recovery or session restored startup, restore via: Tor, Non-Tor<p>
When Firefox crashes, the Tor state upon restart usually is completely
random, and depending on your choice for the above option, may load
a bunch of tabs in the wrong state. This setting allows you to choose
which state the crashed session should always be restored in to.
<li>Prevent session store from saving Non-Tor/Tor-loaded tabs<p>
These two settings allow you to control what the Firefox Session Store
writes to disk. Since the session store state is used to automatically
load websites after a crash or upgrade, it is advisable not to allow
Tor tabs to be written to disk, or they may get loaded in Non-Tor
after a crash (or the reverse, depending upon the crash recovery setting,
<li>Set user agent during Tor usage (crucial)<p>
User agent masking is done with the idea of making all Tor users appear
uniform. A recent Firefox 22.214.171.124 Windows build was chosen to mimic for this
string and supporting navigator.* properties, and this version will remain the
same for all TorButton versions until such time as specific incompatibility
issues are demonstrated. Uniformity of this value is obviously very important
to anonymity. Note that for this option to have full effectiveness, the user
properties are reset correctly. The browser does not set some of them via the
exposed user agent override preferences.
<li>Spoof US English Browser<p>
This option causes Firefox to send http headers as if it were an English
browser. Useful for internationalized users.
<li>Don't send referrer during Tor Usage<p>
This option disables the referrer header, preventing sites from determining
where you came from to visit them. This can break some sites, however. <a
href="http://www.digg.com">Digg</a> in particular seemed to be broken by this.
A more streamlined, less intrusive version of this option should be available
eventually. In the meantime, <a
provide this functionality via a default option of <b>Forge</b>.
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