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Verify Tor Browser in Microsoft Windows

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About this Verify Tor Browser in Windows Page
Support Status stable
Difficulty easy
Maintainer 0brand [archive]
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Info Need a custom VPN installer script? → Professional Support → Done!

Introduction[edit]

GnuPG [archive] is a complete and free implementation of OpenPGP that allows users to encrypt and sign data and communications. Gpg4win [archive] is a graphical front end for GnuPG that is used for file and email encryption in Windows. The verification process for Tor Browser installer begins with securely downloading and verifying the gpg4win package. Once completed users can use GPG from the command-line to verify the Tor Browser installer.

The following guide provides steps to:

  1. Import the Intevation CA certificate.
  2. Install SignTool.
  3. Download and verify GPG4win.
  4. Download Tor Browser Installer for Windows
  5. Verify Tor Browser Installer
  6. Install Tor Browser

Install GPG4win[edit]

Import the Intevation CA Certificate[edit]

Intevation, the company that hosts GnuPG does not maintain a secure TLS [archive] site for gpg4win.[1] To mitigate the threat from attackers using a man-in-the-middle attack to provide users with a forged version of GnuPG. Intevation offers a self-signed certificate which is again, secured by a certificate signed by GeoTrust [archive]. This certificate can be easily downloaded and imported.

Before placing Trust in CA certificates understand the risks associated with the Fallible Certificate Authority Model.

Download the Intevation CA certificate.

Figure: Download SDK Installer

Get windows sdk installer.png

Next, import the certificate.

  • Right-click Intevation-Root-CA-2016 fileInstall CertificateRight-click Open"check" Local MachineRight-click Next"check" Automatically select the certificate store based on the type of certificateRight-click NextRight-click Finish.

When successful the Certificate Import Wizard will show "The import was successful". Click "OK" to exit.

Install SignTools[edit]

The following instructions install SignTool in Windows 10 (stable release). For earlier Windows releases (Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8) users can install SignTool by substituting the corresponding SDK Installer found in the Windows SDK archives [archive] for the Windows 10 SDK installer in the below instructions.

SignTools [archive] is a Windows command-line tool that uses Authenticode [archive] to digitally sign files and verify both signatures in files and time stamp files. SignTool is available as part of Mirosoft Windows SDK [archive], which can be can be installed in just a few easy steps. Once installed it can be used to verify the gpg4win package before installation.

Browse to https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/downloads/windows-10-sdk [archive]

  • Right-click Downloading The InstallerRight-click SaveRight-click Run.

When the the installer finishes loading.

  • Right-click Continuechoose PATHC:\Users\<user_name>\Downloads\Windows Kits\<windows_version>\WindowsSKDRight-click Next.

Figure: Choose SDK installation path

Sdk installer specify download path.png

The Windows SDK installer provides a number of different packages that can be installed. The only package needed for gpg4win verification is Windows SDK Signing Tools for Desktop Apps (SignTools). Be mindful that earlier SDK version packages may be named differently from later SDK versions. For example, the package that contains SignTool in SDK for Windows 8.1 is named Windows Software Developmental Kit. This differs from the corresponding package in Windows 10.

Figure: Select SignTools package

Select sdk features for download.png

Once the box to the corresponding package is "checked", right-click Download. Once installation is complete the installer can be closed.

Figure: SDK download complete

Sdk installer download complete.png

Download and Verify GPG4win[edit]

The Intevation self-signed certificate will allow gpg4win to be securely downloaded and SignTool can then be used to verify the authenticity of the gpg4win package itself.

Note: To simplify the SignTool verification process be sure to download gpg4win package to the Downloads directory.

1. Download the gpg4win package by first browsing to https://files.gpg4win.org [archive]

Next, scroll down and download the latest version of gpg4win and the corresponding signature. At the time of writing (July 02 2019) gpg4win-3.1.9.exe was the latest version. Since the Intevation CA certificate has been imported no errors should be encountered when the gpg4win package is downloaded.

2. The gpg4win package can be verified by running SignTool from the command prompt.

To open a command prompt, in the Windows Start Menu, run.

cmd.exe

Next, from the command prompt, change to the Downloads directory.

cd C:\Users\<your_user_name>\Downloads

Then verify the gpg4win package using SignTool.

signtool verify /pa gpg4win-3-1.9.exe

The following output shows a successful gpg4win verification.

Figure: Successful verification

Signtool verify gpg4win success.png


If verification fails delete the gpg4win package and repeat the download and verification process again.

Download Tor Browser Installer for Windows[edit]

Tor Browser Installer for Windows package will be downloaded and used to install Tor Browser.

1. Browse to https://www.torproject.org/download/ [archive]

2. Download Tor Browser installer for Windows: Left "click" Windows icon"click" Save file.

3. Download the Tor Browser Installer GPG signature file: Right "click" Sig (signature file) "click" Save Link As..[2]

Verify Tor Browser Installer[edit]

Note: At the time of writing (Aug 10 2019) torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US.exe was the current stable release. When verifying the Tor Browser Installer package, users must modify the package version in the steps below to correspond to the Tor Browser Installer package version downloaded from https://www.torproject.org/download/ [archive]

1. In the Windows start menu, open a command prompt.

cmd.exe

2. In the command prompt, change to the directory the Tor Browser Installer package and signature file was downloaded. In most cases this is the "Downloads" directory.

cd Downloads

3. Download the Tor Browser developers signing key.

From the Windows command prompt, run.

gpg --auto-key-locate nodefault,wkd --locate-keys torbrowser@torproject.org

Command out put should show the Tor Browser Developers GPG key has been imported.

gpg: key 4E2C6E8793298290: public key "Tor Browser Developers (signing key) <torbrowser@torproject.org>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1
pub   rsa4096 2014-12-15 [C] [expires: 2020-08-24]
      EF6E286DDA85EA2A4BA7DE684E2C6E8793298290
uid           [ unknown] Tor Browser Developers (signing key) <torbrowser@torproject.org>
sub   rsa4096 2018-05-26 [S] [expires: 2020-09-12]

4. Verify the Tor Browser installer for Windows. Note: Remember to alter the below Tor Browser version number to match the package and signature file you downloaded.

In the Windows command prompt, run.

gpg --verify torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US.exe.asc torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US.exe

If the Tor Browser installer package is correct the output will tell you that the signature is good.

gpg: Signature made 07/08/19 07:03:49 Eastern Daylight Time
gpg:                using RSA key EB774491D9FF06E2
gpg: Good signature from "Tor Browser Developers (signing key) <torbrowser@torproject.org>" [unknown]
gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.
Primary key fingerprint: EF6E 286D DA85 EA2A 4BA7  DE68 4E2C 6E87 9329 8290
     Subkey fingerprint: 1107 75B5 D101 FB36 BC6C  911B EB77 4491 D9FF 06E2

Bad signature warning.

If the command output shows a "Bad signature" warning. Users should immediately delete both the Tor Browser installer package and signature file. Then repeat the Tor Browser Installer sourcing and verification steps.

Key not certified warning.

gpg: WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!
gpg:          There is no indication that the signature belongs to the owner.

The above message can be ignored as it does not alter the validity of the signature related to the downloaded key. Rather, this warning refers to the level of trust placed in the Tor Browser developer's signing key and the web of trust. To remove this warning, the Tor Browser developer's signing key must be personally signed with your own key.

Install Tor Browser[edit]

Tor Browser installation is a simple process with Tor Browser Installer for Windows.

1. Choose the Tor Browser installation Path and language.

Navigate to the folder torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US was downloaded:

  • Double "click" tor-browser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-USSelect language"click" OKChoose Install Location"click" OKChoose Install Location"click" Install.

Figure: Start Tor Browser Installer for Windows

Start Tor Browser windows installer.png

Figure: Select Language

Tor Browser select language.png

Figure: Choose Installation Location

Choose Tor Browser install location.png

Figure: Tor Browser Installing

Tor Browser installing.png


2. Complete Tor Browser setup.

Once Tor Browser has been installed a popup window will ask if a Start Menu and Desktop Shortcut should be added and if Tor Browser should be started once complete. Check ☑ both boxes and "click" Finish.

Figure: Tor Browser Installation Complete

Complete TorBrowser setup.png

3. Network Connections

When Tor Browser starts for the first time it asks for "Tor Network Settings" to be set. Click Connect, then wait while the connection to Tor is completed. When Tor has successfully connected, Tor Browser will open and the steps to configure SecBrowser ™ outlined below can be completed.

Figure: Configure Network Connection

Tor Browser connect to tor.png

Figure: Connecting to Tor Network

Tor Browser connecting Tor network.png

→ Done!


Footnotes[edit]

  1. See: Getting a GnuPG version for Windows in a secure way: https://lists.torproject.org/pipermail/tor-talk/2013-August/029256.html [archive]
  2. Note: The file extension ".asc" may not be visible when first downloading the signature file

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