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internetnews.com: Linux Gets Security Boost from NSA

Feb 25, 2004, 14:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sean Michael Kerner)

"Most stories about government deployments of Linux involve a distributor helping various federal and municipal agencies install the open source operating system. But in this case, a federal agency is helping Linux.

"The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), also known as the codemakers and codebreakers cryptologic division within the Department of Defense, has helped to harden Linux with newly-released Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) kernel modifications.

"The latest release, which updates the base kernel to 2.6.3 and 2.4.24, contains numerous significant improvements to security in the open source operating system. The SELinux improvements mark a major breakthrough for Linux. Because of the NSA's contributions to the kernel, the new security features will now show up in mainstream distributions of Linux.

"'Conditional policies are significant and also networking hooks were added, which makes SElinux all that much more powerful,' Joshua Brindle, hardened Gentoo Linux Project Leader and the NSA's SELinux contributor, told internetnews.com..."

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