At roughly 1:30pm Pacific time on November 30th, Mozilla released an update to Firefox containing a fix for a vulnerability reported as being actively used to deanonymize Tor Browser users. Existing copies of Firefox should update automatically over the next 24 hours; users may also download the updated version manually
The exploit in this case works in essentially the same way as the “network investigative technique” used by FBI to deanonymize Tor users (as FBI described it in an affidavit
). This similarity has led to speculation that this exploit was created by FBI or another law enforcement agency. As of now, we do not know whether this is the case. If this exploit was in fact developed and deployed by a government agency, the fact that it has been published and can now be used by anyone to attack Firefox users is a clear demonstration of how supposedly limited government hacking can become a threat to the broader Web.