The makers of the Brave browser have released Brave 1.20.110 to the stable channel. The new version addresses a serious privacy issue in the browser, a crash issue on Linux, and upgrades the core of the browser to a newer Chromium version.
Brave browser has built-in functionality to access .onion sites using Tor. The feature was introduced in June 2018 and has been an option ever since. Designed to improve privacy by routing the connection through a series of hops along the way, it is an option to improve anonymity by keeping information secret from the target and network listeners.
All that is needed to activate Tor mode in Brave is to use the shortcut Alt-Shift-N, or to select Menu > New private window with Tor.
The implementation in Brave is not designed to be a full replacement for Tor Browser. The company notes on its support page that its browser "does not implement most of the privacy protections from Tor Browser" and that it "recommends using Tor Browser instead of Brave Tor windows" for "absolute anonymity".
One user discovered last week that Brave was leaking information in Tor mode. The user suggested that Brave Browser was leaking the address of sites visited in the mode and the IP of the requester. Brave attempted to resolve .onion domains through traditional DNS look-ups, something that should not happen according to the user.
The new update addresses the privacy issue. Brave engineers fixed the issue so that the information is no longer leaked when the browser's Tor mode is being used.
The company's recommendation to use Tor Browser for full anonymity still stands.
Brave users can verify the installed version of the web browser by loading brave://settings/help directly, or by selecting Menu > About Brave.
The page that opens displays the installed version and will run a check for updates. Any new version that is found will be downloaded and installed automatically.
Brave1.20.110 fixes a crash issue on Linux that occurred when opening .onion links in "certain cases". The core of the browser is updated to Chromium 88.0.4324.192 next to that.
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