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Latest news on Linux distributions and BSD projects
Updated: 10 hours 24 min ago

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 876

Monday 3rd of August 2020 03:37:55 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Haiku R1 beta 2 News: DragonFly BSD gets updated ext2 driver, GRUB security update renders Red Hat and CentOS systems unbootable Questions and answers: Evaluating available Linux mobile phones and checking system identification Released last week: OPNsense 20.1, GeckoLinux 999.200729.0, ALT Linux....

Distribution Release: BunsenLabs Linux Lithium

Sunday 2nd of August 2020 11:09:13 PM
The BunsenLabs development team has announced the release of BunsenLabs Linux Lithium, a major new version from the project that offers a lightweight and customisable Linux distribution based on Debian's "stable" branch and featuring the Openbox window manager: "BunsenLabs Linux is pleased to announce Lithium, the latest release....

Distribution Release: ALT Linux 9.1

Sunday 2nd of August 2020 01:37:16 PM
Michael Shigorin has announced the release of ALT Linux 9.1, an updated version of the project's independently developed distribution for workstations, servers and educational institutions: "BaseALT Ltd announces the availability of an update to its family of Linux distributions, ALT 9.1. The stable Platform 9 repository supports 8....

Distribution Release: GeckoLinux 999.200729.0

Friday 31st of July 2020 03:39:28 AM
The GeckoLinux "Rolling" edition, which is a desktop-oriented distribution based on openSUSE's "Tumbleweed" branch, has been updated to version 999.200729.0. It brings a new set of installable live images with a choice of Cinnamon, Xfce, GNOME, KDE Plasma, MATE, LXQt and IceWM desktop environments. From the release announcement:....

BSD Release: OPNsense 20.7

Thursday 30th of July 2020 03:04:23 PM
Jos Schellevis has announced the release of OPNsense 20.1, the latest stable version of the project's open-source, easy-to-use, HardenedBSD-based firewall and routing platform. This version is based on HardenedBSD 12.1 and it ads several interesting enhancements to its web-based user interface: "For five and a half years, OPNsense....

Development Release: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.3 Beta

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 02:44:15 PM
Six months following the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, Red Hat is publishing a beta for the upcoming release of version 8.3. The new beta offers updated development and hosting tools: "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 introduced Application Streams, where software components used for application development....

Development Release: OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 Alpha 1

Tuesday 28th of July 2020 04:16:15 AM
Cristina Sgubbi has announced the availability of the initial alpha build of OpenMandriva Lx 4.2, the forthcoming new release of the project's Linux distribution optimised for desktop use. The new release updates the Linux and all KDE/Qt applications to their latest versions. "Here we have the alpha milestone....

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 876

Monday 27th of July 2020 01:00:50 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Artix Linux 20200125News: IPFire shares security tips, Fedora offers guide for switching from scp to rsync, Manjaro user tests kernel power consumptionQuestions and answers: Updating a rolling release versus a fixed release distributionReleased last week: SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2, GeckoLinux 152,....

Distribution Release: REMnux 7

Thursday 23rd of July 2020 03:04:07 AM
Lenny Zeltser has announced the release of REMnux 7, a major update of the project's Ubuntu-based distribution with a toolkit for reverse-engineering and analysing malicious software. The new version continues to be delivered as an OVA virtual appliance, but is now based on Ubuntu 18.04: "Ten years after....

Distribution Release: SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2

Tuesday 21st of July 2020 02:34:53 PM
The SUSE team has announced the release of a new service pack (SP) for SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE). The new update, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP2, offers security improvements, techniques to reduce downtime, and improvements to ARM platforms. "Greater security for federal government and public sector organizations as....

Distribution Release: GeckoLinux 152

Monday 20th of July 2020 05:59:35 PM
GeckoLinux is a desktop-oriented distribution based on openSUSE. The project's latest version includes updated desktop environments and enables several third-party software repositories. "GeckoLinux continues to be focused on eliminating pain points and polishing its unique out-of-the-box configuration on top of the stable and flexible openSUSE base. Proprietary media....

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 875

Monday 20th of July 2020 12:42:16 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Linux Lite 5.0News: ReactOS hires storage developer, UBports fixes Wi-Fi issues on PinePhone, FreeBSD publishes status report, Debian updates install mediaQuestions and answers: Easy access to VeraCrypt packagesReleased last week: Univention Corporate Server 4.4-5, EndeavourOS 2020.07.15Torrent corner: Archman, Bluestar, EndeavourOS, KaOS, KDE....

Distribution Release: KaOS 2020.07

Saturday 18th of July 2020 10:00:07 PM
KaOS is a rolling release distribution that focuses on one desktop (KDE Plasma) and one toolkit (Qt). The distribution's latest snapshot provides a series of package updates, more configuration options, and additional firmware for wider hardware support. "You will find Plasma 5.19 on this ISO. Highlights of 5.19....

Distribution Release: EndeavourOS 2020.07.15

Wednesday 15th of July 2020 10:11:05 PM
EndeavourOS is a rolling release Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. The project aims to be a spiritual successor to Antergos - providing an easy setup and pre-configured desktop environment on an Arch base. The distribution's latest snapshot introduces some package updates along with some new tools for....

Distribution Release: Univention Corporate Server 4.4-5

Tuesday 14th of July 2020 05:17:34 PM
Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is an enterprise-class distribution based on Debian GNU/Linux. The distribution's latest release introduces LDAP improvements and single sign-on features: "The release of version 4.4-5 of Univention Corporate Server (UCS) brings a series of technical innovations for the Single Sign-on of users to applications connected....

DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 874

Monday 13th of July 2020 12:16:16 AM
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: openSUSE 15.2 LeapNews: CentOS to receive real-time packages, Ubuntu introduces Flutter toolkit, Mint provides upgrade guideQuestions and answers: Exploring alternatives to Flatpak and Snap packagesReleased last week: SparkyLinux 5.12, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7-28, NomadBSD 1.3.2Torrent corner: ArcoLinux, Clonezilla, Endless OS, GParted, KDE neon,....

Distribution Release: Slackel 7.3 "Openbox"

Friday 10th of July 2020 02:13:35 PM
Slackel is a Linux distribution and live CD based on Slackware Linux and Salix OS. The project's latest release is Slaxel 7.3 "Openbox" which brings the distribution up to date with Slackware's development branch. "What is new: slim login manager is used as default; Gdm exists also but....

Distribution Release: Neptune 6.5

Wednesday 8th of July 2020 10:38:10 PM
Neptune is a Linux distribution for desktops. It is based on Debian's Stable branch, except for a newer kernel, some drivers and newer versions of popular applications. The project has published an update to its current version, Neptune 6. The new 6.5 release offers security updates, a newer....

Distribution Release: SparkyLinux 5.12

Tuesday 7th of July 2020 02:26:08 PM
SparkyLinux, a Debian-based distribution with multiple desktop editions, has published a new release based on Debian's Stable branch. The new version, SparkyLinux 5.12, updates the kernel and several desktop packages. The Otter web browser has been removed in favour of Epiphany. "Changes between 5.11 and 5.12: System upgraded....

Distribution Release: NomadBSD 1.3.2

Monday 6th of July 2020 07:14:39 PM
NomadBSD is a 64-bit live system for USB flash drives, based on FreeBSD. The project's latest release updates the operating system to be up to date with FreeBSD 12.1 and fixes the filesystem layout to allow tools like bectl to snapshot the boot environment. " We are pleased....

More in Tux Machines

Programming: Vala, Perl and Python

  • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Vala

    Vala is an object-oriented programming language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code and uses the GObject system. Vala combines the high-level build-time performance of scripting languages with the run-time performance of low-level programming languages. Vala is syntactically similar to C# and includes notable features such as anonymous functions, signals, properties, generics, assisted memory management, exception handling, type inference, and foreach statements. Its developers, Jürg Billeter and Raffaele Sandrini, wanted to bring these features to the plain C runtime with little overhead and no special runtime support by targeting the GObject object system. Rather than compiling directly to machine code or assembly language, it compiles to a lower-level intermediate language. It source-to-source compiles to C, which is then compiled with a C compiler for a given platform, such as GCC. Did you always want to write GTK+ or GNOME programs, but hate C with a passion? Learn Vala with these free tutorials! Vala is published under the GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1+.

  • Supporting Perl-related creators via Patreon

    Yesterday I posted about this in the Perl Weekly newsletter and both Mohammad and myself got 10 new supporters. This is awesome. There are not many ways to express the fact that you really value the work of someone. You can send them postcards or thank-you notes, but when was the last time you remembered to do that? Right, I also keep forgetting to thank the people who create all the free and awesome stuff I use. Giving money as a way to express your thanks is frowned upon by many people, but trust me, the people who open an account on Patreon to make it easy to donate them money will appreciate it. In any case it is way better than not saying anything.

  • 2020.31 TwentyTwenty

    JJ Merelo kicked off the special 20-day Advent Blog cycle in honour of the publication of the first RFC that would lay the foundation for the Raku Programming Language as we now know it. After that, 3 blog posts got already published:

  • Supporting The Full Lifecycle Of Machine Learning Projects With Metaflow

    Netflix uses machine learning to power every aspect of their business. To do this effectively they have had to build extensive expertise and tooling to support their engineers. In this episode Savin Goyal discusses the work that he and his team are doing on the open source machine learning operations platform Metaflow. He shares the inspiration for building an opinionated framework for the full lifecycle of machine learning projects, how it is implemented, and how they have designed it to be extensible to allow for easy adoption by users inside and outside of Netflix. This was a great conversation about the challenges of building machine learning projects and the work being done to make it more achievable.

  • Django 3.1 Released

    The Django team is happy to announce the release of Django 3.1.

  • Awesome Python Applications: buku

    buku: Browser-independent bookmark manager with CLI and web server frontends, with integrations for browsers, cloud-based bookmark managers, and emacs.

  • PSF GSoC students blogs: Week 9 Check-in

DRM and Proprietary Software Leftovers

  • Some Photoshop users can try Adobe’s anti-misinformation system later this year

    Adobe pitched the CAI last year as a general anti-misinformation and pro-attribution tool, but many details remained in flux. A newly released white paper makes its scope clearer. The CAI is primarily a more persistent, verifiable type of image metadata. It’s similar to the standard EXIF tags that show the location or date of a photograph, but with cryptographic signatures that let you verify the tags haven’t been changed or falsely applied to a manipulated photo.

    People can still download and edit the image, take a screenshot of it, or interact the way they would any picture. Any CAI metadata tags will show that the image was manipulated, however. Adobe is basically encouraging adding valuable context and viewing any untagged photos with suspicion, rather than trying to literally stop plagiarism or fakery. “There will always be bad actors,” says Adobe community products VP Will Allen. “What we want to do is provide consumers a way to go a layer deeper — to actually see what happened to that asset, who it came from, where it came from, and what happened to it.”

    The white paper makes clear that Adobe will need lots of hardware and software support for the system to work effectively. CAI-enabled cameras (including both basic smartphones and high-end professional cameras) would need to securely add tags for dates, locations, and other details. Photo editing tools would record how an image has been altered — showing that a journalist adjusted the light balance but didn’t erase or add any details. And social networks or other sites would need to display the information and explain why users should care about it.

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  • EFF and ACLU Tell Federal Court that Forensic Software Source Code Must Be Disclosed
           
             

    Can secret software be used to generate key evidence against a criminal defendant? In an amicus filed ten days ago with the United States District Court of the Western District of Pennsylvania, EFF and the ACLU of Pennsylvania explain that secret forensic technology is inconsistent with criminal defendants’ constitutional rights and the public’s right to oversee the criminal trial process. Our amicus in the case of United States v. Ellis also explains why source code, and other aspects of forensic software programs used in a criminal prosecution, must be disclosed in order to ensure that innocent people do not end up behind bars, or worse—on death row.

             

    The Constitution guarantees anyone accused of a crime due process and a fair trial. Embedded in those foundational ideals is the Sixth Amendment right to confront the evidence used against you. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Confrontation Clause’s central purpose was to ensure that evidence of a crime was reliable by subjecting it to rigorous testing and challenges. This means that defendants must be given enough information to allow them to examine and challenge the accuracy of evidence relied on by the government.

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  • Powershell Bot with Multiple C2 Protocols
                     
                       

    I spotted another interesting Powershell script. It's a bot and is delivered through a VBA macro that spawns an instance of msbuild.exe This Windows tool is often used to compile/execute malicious on the fly (I already wrote a diary about this technique[1]). I don’t have the original document but based on a technique used in the macro, it is part of a Word document. It calls Document_ContentControlOnEnter[2]: [...]

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  • FBI Used Information From An Online Forum Hacking To Track Down One Of The Hackers Behind The Massive Twitter Attack
           
             

    As Mike reported last week, the DOJ rounded up three alleged participants in the massive Twitter hack that saw dozens of verified accounts start tweeting out promises to double the bitcoin holdings of anyone who sent bitcoin to a certain account.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay 9-Figure Fine for Violating FTC Agreement
                         
                           

    That means that the complaint is not related to last month’s high-profile [cr]ack of prominent accounts on the service. That security incident saw accounts from the likes of Joe Biden and Elon Musk ask followers to send them bitcoin. A suspect was arrested in the incident last month.

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  • Twitter Expects to Pay Up to $250 Million in FTC Fine Over Alleged Privacy Violations
                         
                           

    Twitter disclosed that it anticipates being forced to pay an FTC fine of $150 million to $250 million related to alleged violations over the social network’s use of private data for advertising.

                           

    The company revealed the expected scope of the fine in a 10-Q filing with the SEC. Twitter said that on July 28 it received a draft complaint from the Federal Trade Commission alleging the company violated a 2011 consent order, which required Twitter to establish an information-security program designed to “protect non-public consumer information.”

                           

    “The allegations relate to the Company’s use of phone number and/or email address data provided for safety and security purposes for targeted advertising during periods between 2013 and 2019,” Twitter said in the filing.

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  • Apple removes more than 26,000 games from China app store
                     
                       

    Apple pulled 29,800 apps from its China app store on Saturday, including more than 26,000 games, according to Qimai Research Institute.

                       

    The removals are in response to Beijing's crackdown on unlicensed games, which started in June and intensified in July, Bloomberg reported. This brings an end to the unofficial practice of letting games be published while awaiting approval from Chinese censors.

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  • Intuit Agrees to Buy Singapore Inventory Software Maker
                     
                       

    Intuit will pay more than $80 million for TradeGecko, according to people familiar with the matter, marking one of the biggest exits in Singapore since the Covid-19 pandemic. TradeGecko has raised more than $20 million to date from investors including Wavemaker Partners, Openspace Ventures and Jungle Ventures.

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  • Justice Department Is Scrutinizing Takeover of Credit Karma by Intuit, Maker of TurboTax
           
             

    The probe comes after ProPublica first reported in February that antitrust experts viewed the deal as concerning because it could allow a dominant firm to eliminate a competitor with an innovative business model. Intuit already dominates online tax preparation, with a 67% market share last year. The article sparked letters from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., urging the DOJ to investigate further. Cicilline is chair of the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.

Security Leftovers

           
  • DNS configuration recommendations for IPFire users

    If you are familiar with IPFire, you might have noticed DNSSEC validation is mandatory, since it defeats entire classes of attacks. We receive questions like "where is the switch to turn off DNSSEC" on a regular basis, and to say it once and for all: There is none, and there will never be one. If you are running IPFire, you will be validating DNSSEC. Period. Another question frequently asked is why IPFire does not support filtering DNS replies for certain FQDNs, commonly referred to as a Response Policy Zone (RPZ). This is because an RPZ does what DNSSEC attempts to secure users against: Tamper with DNS responses. From the perspective of a DNSSEC-validating system, a RPZ will just look like an attacker (if the queried FQDN is DNSSEC-signed, which is what we strive for as much of them as possible), thus creating a considerable amount of background noise. Obviously, this makes detecting ongoing attacks very hard, most times even impossible - the haystack to search just becomes too big. Further, it does not cover direct connections to hardcoded IP addresses, which is what some devices and attackers usually do, as it does not rely on DNS to be operational and does not leave any traces. Using an RPZ will not make your network more secure, it just attempts to cover up the fact that certain devices within it cannot be trusted. Back to DNSSEC: In case the queried FQDNs are signed, forged DNS replies are detected since they do not match the RRSIG records retrieved for that domain. Instead of being transparently redirected to a fradulent web server, the client will only display a error message to its user, indicating a DNS lookup failure. Large-scale attacks by returning forged DNS replies are frequently observed in the wild (the DNSChanger trojan is a well-known example), which is why you want to benefit from validating DNSSEC and more and more domains being signed with it.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (libx11, webkit2gtk, and zabbix), Fedora (webkit2gtk3), openSUSE (claws-mail, ghostscript, and targetcli-fb), Red Hat (dbus, kpatch-patch, postgresql-jdbc, and python-pillow), Scientific Linux (libvncserver and postgresql-jdbc), SUSE (kernel and python-rtslib-fb), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, sqlite3, squid3, and webkit2gtk). 

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  • Official 1Password Linux App is Available for Testing

    An official 1Password Linux app is on the way, and brave testers are invited to try an early development preview. 1Password is a user-friendly (and rather popular) cross-platform password manager. It provides mobile apps and browser extensions for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Google Chrome, Edge, Firefox — and now a dedicated desktop app for Linux, too.

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  • FBI Warns of Increased DDoS Attacks

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a “private industry notification” last week that attackers are increasingly using amplification techniques in distributed denial-of-service attacks. There has been an uptick in attack attempts since February, the agency’s Cyber Division said in the alert. An amplification attack occurs when attackers send a small number of requests to a server and the server responds with numerous responses. The attackers spoof the IP address to make it look like the requests are coming from a specific victim, and the resulting responses overwhelms the victim’s network. “Cyber actors have exploited built-in network protocols, designed to reduce computation overhead of day-to-day system and operational functions to conduct larger and more destructive distributed denial-of-service amplification attacks against US networks,” the FBI alert said. Copies of the alert were posted online by several recipients, including threat intelligence company Bad Packets.

  • NSA issues BootHole mitigation guidance

    Following the disclosure of a widespread buffer-flow vulnerability that could affect potentially billions of Linux and Windows-based devices, the National Security Agency issued a follow-up cybersecurity advisory highlighting the bug and offering steps for mitigation. The vulnerability -- dubbed BootHole -- impacts devices and operating systems that use signed versions of the open-source GRUB2 bootloader software found in most Linux systems. It also affects any system or device using Secure Boot -- a root firmware interface responsible for validating the booting process -- with Microsoft's standard third party certificate authority. The vulnerability enables attackers to bypass Secure Boot to allow arbitrary code execution and “could be used to install persistent and stealthy bootkits,” NSA said in a press statement.

Mozilla: SameSite, SUMO, Firefox and More

           
  • Changes to SameSite Cookie Behavior – A Call to Action for Web Developers

    We are changing the default value of the SameSite attribute for cookies from None to Lax, per new IETF guidelines. This will greatly improve security for users. However, some web sites may depend (even unknowingly) on the old default, potentially resulting in breakage for those sites. At Mozilla, we are slowly introducing this change. And we are strongly encouraging all web developers to test their sites with the new default. [...] Testing in the Firefox Nightly and Beta channels has shown that website breakage does occur. While we have reached out to those sites we’ve encountered and encouraged them to set the SameSite attribute on their web properties, the web is clearly too big to do this on a case-by-case basis. It is important that all web developers test their sites against this new default. This will prepare you for when both Firefox and Chrome browsers make the switch in their respective release channels.

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  • New platform milestone completed: Python upgrade

    In 2020 a lot of the SUMO platform’s team work is focused on modernizing our support platform (Kitsune) and performing some foundational work that will allow us to grow and expand the platform. We have started this in H1 with the new Responsive and AAQ redesign. Last week we completed a new milestone: the Python/Django upgrade. Why was this necessary Support.mozilla.org was running on Python 2.7, meaning our core technology stack was running on a no longer supported version. We needed to upgrade to at least 3.7 and, at the same time, upgrade to the latest Django Long Term Support (LTS) version 2.2.

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  • Firefox 79 includes protections against redirect tracking

    A little over a year ago we enabled Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) by default in Firefox. We did so because we recognize that tracking poses a threat to society, user safety, and the autonomy of individuals and we’re committed to protecting users against these threats by default. ETP was our first step in fulfilling that commitment, but the web provides many covert avenues trackers can use to continue their data collection. Today’s Firefox release introduces the next step in providing a safer and more private experience for our users with Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0, where we will block a new advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. ETP 2.0 clears cookies and site data from tracking sites every 24 hours, except for those you regularly interact with. We’ll be rolling ETP 2.0 out to all Firefox users over the course of the next few weeks.

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  • Fast Company Recognizes Katharina Borchert as one of the Most Creative Business People

    We are proud to share that Katharina Borchert, Mozilla’s Chief Open Innovation Officer, has been named one of the  Most Creative People by Fast Company. The award recognizes her leadership on Common Voice and helping to diversify AI speech through machine learning. Katharina was recognized not just for a groundbreaking idea, but because her work is having a measurable impact in the world. [...] The full list also includes vintner, Krista Scruggs, dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp, and Ryan Reynolds: “for delivering an honest message, even when it’s difficult”. “‘This is a real honor,” said Katharina, “which also reflects the contributions of an incredible alliance of people at Mozilla and beyond. We have a way to go before the full promise of Common Voice is realized. But I’m incredibly inspired by the different communities globally building it together with Mozilla, because language is so important for our identities and for keeping cultural diversity alive in the digital age. Extending the reach of voice recognition to more languages can only open the doors to more innovation and make tech more inclusive.”

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  • Latest Firefox rolls out Enhanced Tracking Protection 2.0; blocking redirect trackers by default

    Today, Firefox is introducing Enhanced Tracking Protection (ETP) 2.0, our next step in continuing to provide a safe and private experience for our users. ETP 2.0 protects you from an advanced tracking technique called redirect tracking, also known as bounce tracking. We will be rolling out ETP 2.0 over the next couple of weeks. Last year we enabled ETP by default in Firefox because we believe that understanding the complexities and sophistication of the ad tracking industry should not be required to be safe online. ETP 1.0 was our first major step in fulfilling that commitment to users. Since we enabled ETP by default, we’ve blocked 3.4 trillion tracking cookies. With ETP 2.0, Firefox brings an additional level of privacy protection to the browser. Since the introduction of ETP, ad industry technology has found other ways to track users: creating workarounds and new ways to collect your data in order to identify you as you browse the web. Redirect tracking goes around Firefox’s built-in third-party cookie-blocking policy by passing you through the tracker’s site before landing on your desired website. This enables them to see where you came from and where you are going.

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  • Moth wants you to design a Firefox Theme for San Francisco Shock

    This summer we partnered with Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock to help the fans at home cheer on their 2019 Grand Finals Champions. This included Firefox Protection Plays and giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of the SF Shock players. Before the summer season ends, we wanted to do one last thing for the SF Shock team and their fans. One of the players, Moth, shared that Firefox is the only browser he uses. He learned about Firefox while studying software engineering in college. Firefox and Mozilla’s mission along with the open source ethos is what keeps him a loyal user. To celebrate that, we’re inviting SF Shock fans — and anyone else who might be interested — to design an original Firefox theme.