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Secure OS Gets Highest NSA Rating, Goes Commercial

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the compartmentalized-with-a-vengeance dept.

Operating Systems 352

ancientribe writes "A hardened operating system used in the B1B bomber and other military aircraft has now been released commercially, after receiving the highest security rating by a National Security Agency-run certification program. Green Hills Software's Integrity-178B operating system was certified as EAL6+, which means that it can defend against well-funded and sophisticated attackers." The company is not saying how much the OS would cost a potential customer: "The system and its associated integration and consulting services are custom solutions." Both Windows and Linux are EAL 4+ certified, which means they can defend against "inadvertent and casual" security breach attempts.

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Frosty Piss (0, Offtopic)

Reikk (534266) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808253)

Drink it, bitches

Let the Testing begin... (5, Insightful)

sbenson (153852) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808257)

Now let people who don't have financial ties test it.

n/t (5, Insightful)

KasperMeerts (1305097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808259)

I'm sorry if I take a test that gives Windows and Linux the same security rating not very seriously.
Also, how can they test this? The only way to properly test something like this is to let it out in the wild for a decade or two. That's not something you can imitate in a testing room.

Re:n/t (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808299)

A dog and a horse both have four legs but, they do have several other differences.

Re:n/t (3, Funny)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808417)

A dog and a horse both have four legs but, they do have several other differences.

Agreed: the size of their respective cocks, for one

=Smidge=

Re:n/t (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808885)

The line from the play right before Lincoln was shot?

Classic!

Re:n/t (5, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808313)

EAL does not mean what you think it does.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaluation_Assurance_Level [wikipedia.org]

Re:n/t (5, Insightful)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808631)

Indeed, I was looking at that too and some interesting points from the wiki article:

To achieve a particular EAL, the computer system must meet specific assurance requirements. Most of these requirements involve design documentation, design analysis, functional testing, or penetration testing. The higher EALs involve more detailed documentation, analysis, and testing than the lower ones. Achieving a higher EAL certification generally costs more money and takes more time than achieving a lower one. The EAL number assigned to a certified system indicates that the system completed all requirements for that level.
[...]
Technically speaking, a higher EAL means nothing more, or less, than that the evaluation completed a more stringent set of quality assurance requirements. It is often assumed that a system that achieves a higher EAL will provide its security features more reliably (and the required third-party analysis and testing performed by security experts is reasonable evidence in this direction), but there is little or no published evidence to support that assumption.

So basically it costs money to get EAL verified, and the farther up the scale you go, the more money it costs to run the testing. So even if a Linux distro wanted to be verified at a higher level - who's going to fork over the dough?

Additionally this seems to be a hired method of testing and bug report/fixing. Just because they fix the bugs found at one "level" of testing does not mean there aren't missed holes. Additionally it doesn't mean that a well written piece of software isn't capable of a higher rating with little or no fixes (like the Linux kernel probably is.) It is impressive that Integrity-178B achieved the EAL-6+ rating because it has definitely been put through its paces... and due to the way it was designed it probably has very few holes in it, but EAL should definitely not be the end-all be-all judge of OS quality.

Re:n/t (5, Funny)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808781)

So basically it costs money to get EAL verified, and the farther up the scale you go, the more money it costs to run the testing.

Is Scientology somehow involved in this?

Re:n/t (5, Interesting)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808331)

Source code audits with automated scripts that attack every port and every program checking for buffer overflows or other avenues of attack. It would require a lot of work, but it makes sense that the NSA would put in a lot of work to explore these operating systems, both to know how to secure against attack and to know how to pull off an attack against another country. The real question is, how much do you trust this OS not to have an NSA back door?

Re:n/t (1)

Drawkcab (550036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808785)

This OS comes with source code that you compile yourself. High security developers can't just take another companies word for what their OS is doing. So you would be able to inspect the source code for a potential backdoor.

Re:n/t (5, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808333)

Also, how can they test this? The only way to properly test something like this is to let it out in the wild for a decade or two. That's not something you can imitate in a testing room.

You forget the the NSA pretty much recruits the best and brightest hackers that the world has to offer. Their policy of "we don't have a budget" and the oppurtunity to work on the absolute cutting edge (and actually see it put to use) is pretty much the most kickass thing that you can offer somebody who has a passion for knowledge.

Re:n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808523)

The NSA doesn't really recruit anyone. Most people working at the NSA are military.

Re:n/t (2)

Zackbass (457384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808605)

Then why are they recruiting some of the best mathematicians I know?

Re:n/t (4, Interesting)

lanterndog (1410095) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808839)

Yeah... I majored in pure math (e.g. abstract, theoretical stuff) in college. I was good. The NSA was all over me. I didn't accept, obviously (I wouldn't be able to admit this if I had. :) They recruit lots and lots of math people. Very few CS people (I double-majored in math and CS. Google and MS tried to recruit me through CS). However, I will get flamed to the end of the earth for this, but it's my experience: Mathematicians are insanely more intelligent than CSers. That, and cryptography (which is why the NSA exists) has much more to do with mathematics (Algebra and Number Theory especially) than it does with programming or OS design.

Re:n/t (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808695)

Not true. Their are lots of civilians. I know this from first-hand experience.

Re:n/t (2, Funny)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808723)

That is, "there," not "their." Don't I feel stoopid.

Re:n/t (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808925)

Don't I feel stoopid.

Especially so after you forgot to check 'Post Anonymously' the second time around...

Re:n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808895)

You forget the the NSA pretty much recruits the best and brightest hackers that the world has to offer.

No, they don't. Bruce Schneier works for BT.

Re:n/t (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808357)

I'm sorry if I take a test that gives Windows and Linux the same security rating not very seriously.

Don't be a pussy this guy [wikipedia.org] sounds legit [nist.gov] .

Re:n/t (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808373)

I also noticed that TFA didn't say what EAL stood for or who did the certification, or how. In fact, it was incredibly short on details. About the only thing TFA said that wasn't in the summary was that this OS runs in hardware, and you can run Linux, Windows, or Mac on top of it.

Re:n/t (1)

webscathe (448715) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808595)

Sure you read TFA?

"After receiving the highest security rating by a National Security Agency (NSA)-run certification program..."

Re:n/t (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808379)

Most likely they aren't 'testing' security to determine a rating. They are probably looking at architecture, design, rigorousness of developement process, and source code (if available). I imagine they see having the source code available as a negative for Linux simply because it gives would be attackers much more information about the system than is otherwise available. Combine that with the fact that the Open Source process isn't as complete as it could be and it's not at all suprising it recieved the rating that it did.

Re:n/t (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808519)

I imagine they see having the source code available as a negative for Linux simply because it gives would be attackers much more information about the system than is otherwise available.

That theory is one touted by commercial OS vendors, and its been thoroughly disproved. Availability or otherwise of source code has no effect on the hardness of your OS. If anything having it available is even safer, because its a heck of a lot easier for people to point at a problem bit of code and say 'fix that bit now'.

What causes the problem is non rigorous OS design. Hiding the source won't help you protect your clients from a design flaw which allows them to be attacked.

The OS in question here however is most likely quite rigorously designed, and won't have a lot of the bloat that causes desktop OSs so many problems.

Re:n/t (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808971)

Here is an example where the source code has led to a "hack" [slashdot.org]

If I remember the details correctly, they looked at the TCP stack for the linux kernel and found a section that was essentially labeled "This code is to catch errors. This code should never run", or something like that. They figured out how to make that code run (along with some other magic), and the rest is history.

The source code allowed the attacker to identify the issue, as well as find out how to execute it. When you are writing a program with millions of lines of code, there WILL be an error/hole somewhere. Both open source and closed source have holes, but open source provides you with the source code to explore as well.

Re:n/t (1)

Drawkcab (550036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808661)

The source code in this case is available both to the NSA testers trying to hack it as well as to customers. "Security through obscurity" isn't good enough to get that level of EAL certification. It requires going through each line of code and proving that its secure, even to someone who knows exactly how it works. It would be theoretically possible to do it with open source, but it would require an extreme degree of organization and discipline compared to normal open source projects.

Re:n/t (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808957)

Not to mention that the "certification" only applies to a specific configuration.

The best way to do something like this is to essentially take a "frozen" fork from an existing distro, pair it down to bare essentials (and what does that mean?), and then start on the mother of all code reviews.

Even if you got a sample paired down distro organized, you'd now have to Document it, and then turn it over and pay for testing (two things that the OSS community is usually poorer at than their Commercial brethren).

Re:n/t (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808769)

Actually, the security of a system should not depend on hiding the operating details of the system. The EAL levels are based on things like audit logs, privilege separation, the ability to kick a user off the system and kill all their processes, etc. The availability of the source is neither a positive nor a negative on EAL ratings.

Re:n/t (0, Offtopic)

hagardtroll (562208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808445)

Perhaps if your comment can be taken in the context of what would happen under different circumstances on the eventuality of operating system mechanical fluxuations. My! Haven't we been through the time-tested variation of correlated fluid operations. No, I don't mean the central overload of keen observational pragmatic or parametric coin flipping. More like the sensual slirp of that delicious concoction we commonly refer to as Tranya! Oh, I know it well. Its citrus belches and glucosian after taste. Don't get me wrong. I really am not aware of the insidious fragility of the time honored placement of needs, but when I drink of the Tranya, I am transposed into a never ending delight of the senses. So do not go sullen into that night. Imbibe with all of the frivolity nature endures. Only then you will know. Until then, post this dissertation with an understanding that the needs of one and the needs of many are often coincident with each other.

Re:n/t (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808543)

maybe they did but you never knew what it was when trying day and night to find a way inside it but never could.

Re:n/t (1)

madsenj37 (612413) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808637)

It most likely has to do with defaults and not abilities. But that is just a conjecture on my part.

Re:n/t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808743)

Butthurt lunix fanboy detected.

Re:n/t (0, Troll)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808827)

If the three letters N-S-A don't mean enough to you to lend this certification a crapload of credibility, you're obviously not terrified enough.

Re:n/t (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808843)

My question to blanket statements like this is always, "Which version of Windows?"

Give me any of the NT family of Windows (pro or business editions as the case may be) and I can configure them to be as security as any version of Linux.

The main problem with both Windows and Linux is they are not secured on initial installation and in home use, people often run with higher privileges than they should.

I have never had a Windows computer or server of mine infected or compromised. It is possible to do.

Well! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808275)

If only the aliens ran this operating system they wouldn't have had to worry about Jeff Goldblum hacking into their mothership!

Two steps from the highest, actually (4, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808277)

EAL7+ means that it can defend against well-funded and sophisticated attacks and doesn't have an NSA backdoor built into it. EAL8 is exactly like EAL7+, only it can do it while getting slashdotted.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (5, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808339)

EAL9+ means it autonomously retaliates against the attacker's system.
EAL10+ means it autonomously retaliates against the attacker.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (5, Funny)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808589)

EAL11+ means it goes to eleven. The others they go to 10, but this one goes to 11, so if you need that extra.....push off the cliff....

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808597)

But does it go all the way to 11?

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808617)

It's a shame they don't go to eleven.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808641)

EAL11+ means it autonomously launches nuclear missiles at Russia, knowing the Russian counter-attack will destroy the attacker.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808771)

EAL12+ includes an HAL9000:esque AI that preemptively triggers a global nuclear holocaust, to ensure it will never be hacked.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808649)

And EAL11+ Means it autonomously do pre-emptive strikes against all potential attackers.

Followed by sending robots back in time to pre-preemtptively attack whoever turns out to not succumb in the first(?) attack.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually MOD UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808377)

Yeah. What a load of bullshit. But hey, it's your money...

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808423)

Heh, glad to see slashdot readers marking this as insightful.

FTFA:
"[EAL6+] is the highest [rating] in the world. This means that the OS was designed and certified to defend against well-funded and sophisticated attackers," says David Chandler, CEO of Integrity Global Security, the new Green Hills subsidiary.

Parent should be marked as funny, even if they didn't see the humour carefully woven into the OP.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808435)

My computer goes to EAL11!

The power of God blazes out of the box to melt the faces and explode the heads of intruders,
just like in Raiders of the Lost Mainframe.

OT: Link in your sig (1)

mikiN (75494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808497)

Can you please tell me if this company has any relationship with a certain paper company down in Texas? Or will you send this Haitian guy over to me to

Why the hell am I posting on Slashdot? Dunno, just like any ordinary day I guess.

Re:Two steps from the highest, actually (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808749)

EAL4+ is Windows - defends against inadvertent attacks. EAL3+ gives you a cookie to encourage you to break in. EAL2+ contains a virus that actively spreads your data around the net. We're not sure what EAL1+ is yet.

But will it run Doom? (1, Funny)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808285)

or Duke Nukem 3D?

lols (4, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808305)

A hardened operating system used in the B1B bomber and other military aircraft has now been released commercially

B1 Accidents [wikipedia.org] , OS Homepage [ghs.com] , More Wikipedia! [wikipedia.org]

NSA dumped Linux (0, Troll)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808311)

Its development process makes Linux inherently insecure.

So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (2, Interesting)

Van Cutter Romney (973766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808323)

What's preventing Microsoft and open source world from understanding these "sophisticated" attacks and hardening their respective operating systems against them?

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808459)

I think this line might have some sort of hint in it:

"The system and its associated integration and consulting services are custom solutions."

If you can build an operating system that anyone can buy and install on (essentially) any hardware, and still have it be completely secure, then that's your path to your billions. Windows and Linux suffer in security because they have to be general-purpose enough to work on almost anything.

That's only one of the several reasons, of course, but it's a lot easier to make a custom system secure than it is to make a publicly-consumable system secure.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808499)

Complexity.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (2, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808505)

The fact that both a windows installation and most linux dists need to be useful for the common folk, you know, with security no-nos such ethernet and maybe even USB support. And no, hotgluing ports doesn't cut it.

Look, it'd be perfectly feasible to push Windows or GNU/Linux through a higher certification, but someone has got to pay for it and the market is infinitesimal.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808587)

What's preventing Microsoft and open source world from understanding these "sophisticated" attacks and hardening their respective operating systems against them?

This isn't a desktop OS, so there isn't really much ground for comparison.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (2, Insightful)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808591)

In the big picture, there's a distinct trade-off between security and usability.

That doesn't mean that, in the small picture, every security improvement comes at the cost of usability. But when you're talking big picture, to get the kind of security you're talking about, you have to rethink what it means to use a computer/OS/etc. Things you currently take for granted (like, as someone else said, plugging a USB device in) become "holes" that have to be closed.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808815)

Well think about this: do you think that certification is still valid when you modify anything? When you go down that line of thinking you come up with the conclusion that any consumer usable system is not going to be certified and be anywhere near modern. The best we can do is probably OpenBSD.

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808873)

What's preventing Microsoft and open source world from understanding these "sophisticated" attacks and hardening their respective operating systems against them?

Mmm...the will at Microsoft to actually improve their products on anything other than the most superficial level?

Re:So why can't Windows and Linux do this? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808979)

What's preventing Microsoft and open source world from understanding these "sophisticated" attacks and hardening their respective operating systems against them?

Long story short, a lot of semi-formal proofs that most of the time will have zero benefit, but it's the difference between believing it and proving it. Plus checks that have very little relevance in the rest of the world, for example EAL5 and up must include checks for covert communications channels. How many places in Linux can you pass data around for future extension that can be used for that? I guess a lot if you're not explicitly designing for not allowing any.

Worse than Dell with the Windows tax (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808327)

When you order a B1B, you pay for the Integrity-178B license even if you later install a copy of Linux For Strategic Bombers.

Re:Worse than Dell with the Windows tax (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808675)

Nah, just click "I Don't Agree" and back out of the license agreement. Then ask for a refund

Re:Worse than Dell with the Windows tax (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808905)

You probably shouldn't click the 'Don't agree' button inflight.

Just ask these [youtube.com] guys.

Re:Worse than Dell with the Windows tax (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808795)

You meant GNU/Linux for Strategic Bombers.

Re:Worse than Dell with the Windows tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808953)

Ha! ...Nice.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808329)

As much faith as I have in the NSA's security abilities, does anyone have any idea what criteria they were using exactly? Any in-depth results they've made public, preferably?

Re:Anonymous Coward (4, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808739)

As much faith as I have in the NSA's security abilities, does anyone have any idea what criteria they were using exactly? Any in-depth results they've made public, preferably?

It's an aggregate result of how many social security numbers B1 bombers have lost over the last 10 years divided by how many B1 bombers, with the software installed, have been stolen out of government offices or left behind in taxi cabs.

Re:Anonymous Coward (2, Funny)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808907)

NSA E.A. Testing Criteria
---
EAL0 $1,000,000
EAL1 $1,000,000
EAL2 $2,000,000
EAL3 $3,000,000
EAL4 $4,000,000
EAL5 $5,000,000
EAL6 $6,000,000
EAL7+ Call for quote.

Ample protection? (1)

DoctorFury (1410257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808359)

Question is, though, does the security extend to the child OS and its software while running on this "so expensive we can't tell you how much it costs, and you can't hack us to find out" system? I guess that's a general question. Wouldn't running a browser on (god forbid) a Vista component leave you just as vulnerable as if you hadn't bothered?

lower that 4+ (5, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808363)

Inadvertant and Casual attempts?
Oops. I tripped over my computer and hacked your system. Sorry.

Re:lower that 4+ (1)

hagardtroll (562208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808639)

Ho ho ho, your humor is irrepressantly fascinatingly killian like. No, I'm not referring to the likeliness of someone slipping on a banana peel, but more of someone who cannot determine the existence of such a peel even in their midst because of the vagaries of density in matter. When one sips of the Tranya, they can see the world anew. Never again with the hijinks of virtual likeness of chief executives who concern themselves with indiscretions by script kiddies. More likely they imbibe on the nectar of the gods that Tranya is. Your scribe will not endeavor to move beyond the trivialities of such nonsensical musings. Instead, they will stretch their actualities into a shape only know to their inner selves. So do not resist the citrus belches and glucosian after taste. Imbibe early and often when nature sees fit to present you with the Tranya.

Re:lower that 4+ (1)

ben0207 (845105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808681)

"I hacked you? Sorry mate, I was just trying to play Solitaire"

Re:lower that 4+ (3, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808775)

"I hacked you? Sorry mate, I was just trying to play Solitaire"

Looks like we're lucky this time. Last kid that accidently played videogames with our system chose Global Thermonuclear War!

Unfortunately, probably a niche product at best (3, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808383)

It seems like in the OS battle between security and convenience, convenience wins every time. I see Windows everywhere - at the bank, on hospital equipment and at doctors' offices, on ATMs... not to rant specifically against Windows; but it shows up a lot of places where I think we'd be much better served if the company had gone to the time and expense of developing a custom solution. Really, why should Windows be running on an X-Ray machine or an electrical power plant console?

Re:Unfortunately, probably a niche product at best (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808615)

Really, why should Windows be running on an X-Ray machine or an electrical power plant console?

Why not? Since we're not railing specifically against Windows, why shouldn't we start with general operating systems and build the functionality we need on top? That's what they're for.

Re:Unfortunately, probably a niche product at best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808791)

WHY NOT??? Do your homework boy! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle [wikipedia.org]

It's because of idiots like you we have blackouts and accidents. Sorry if it sounded rude.

Re:Unfortunately, probably a niche product at best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808841)

FYI: Its against the EULA to control a Nuclear power plant with Windows.

A tad careless? (2, Insightful)

Zathain Sicarius (1398033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808391)

Isn't releasing this OS a little careless? Part of the reason it's so secure is because only the military has its hands on it. If you go around selling it, I'm sure someone will buy it just to poke around and find each and every hole in its security.

Re:A tad careless? (1)

omnifunctional (633904) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808851)

Not really, this OS was not created for the B1B, it is just the one being used in some of the systems on the aircraft. It is also used by and is widely avaialble to avionics companies who build systems for any number of commercial and military aircraft. The only thing that has really changed it that Green Hills is marketing the product more widely. Remember it is just an OS.

Re:A tad careless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808871)

Then its not really secure is it?
Your argument of security through obfuscation is flawed.

"Linux" is not certified for anything (5, Insightful)

crush (19364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808395)

A couple of specific distros on specific hardware have received EAL4+ certification: RHEL5 (on 12 or so different platforms) and SLES9 on IBM eServer spring to mind. I'm fairly sure that no other GNU/Linux distributions have received such certification and it makes absolutely no sense to talk about "Linux" being certified for anything.
This is not just nit-picking about GNU/Linux vs Linux as the name: it's a case where it's actually very important to be aware that specific versions of specific programs with specific configuration files have been tested and found not to fail in particular ways.

Good for them (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808413)

It's not like the military really needs to replace all of its important infrastructure since it already has SIPRNet [wikipedia.org] and JWICS [wikipedia.org] which shield its sensitive systems from most hackers because they're not even on the public Internet anymore.

The Protection Profile and Validation Report (3, Informative)

jea6 (117959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808441)

The Protection Profile and Validation Report can be downloaded at http://www.niap-ccevs.org/cc-scheme/pp/id/pp_skpp_hr_v1.03 [niap-ccevs.org] .

The Security Target and Validation Report can be downloaded at http://www.niap-ccevs.org/cc-scheme/st/vid10119/ [niap-ccevs.org] .

And... (0, Redundant)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808467)

...what exactly does EAL mean again? Does anyone really know? Should we care? http://www.niap-ccevs.org/ [niap-ccevs.org] gives no assurance of all in my mind that EAL is more than a very expensive marketing proposition.

"Both Windows and Linux are EAL 4+ certified" (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808493)

Is this really a true statement? According to Wikipedia, only Windows 2000, SP3 is EAL4 certified. Since this is an obsolete and unsupported release (Win2k SP4 is still supported), is it correct to say that "Windows..[is] EAL 4+ certified"?

It would be more accurate to say either: "Windows 2000, SP3 is EAL4 certified" or "Windows used to be EAL4 certified".

Re:"Both Windows and Linux are EAL 4+ certified" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808917)

The Wiki article is wrong. Windows XP SP2 and Windows 2003 SP1 are both EAL4+ certified:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/dec05/12-14CommonCriteriaPR.mspx [microsoft.com]

Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 are both currently undergoing the certification process, which can take a few years. ISA Server 2006 and SQL Server 2005 SP2 Enterprise Edition are both EAL4 certified.

Article misleads about EAL6 (4, Informative)

epdp14 (1318641) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808525)

EAL6 is NOT the highest rating given by the NSA. EAL7 is. EAL7 has been awarded to one product (The Tenix Interactive Link Data Diode Device). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaluation_Assurance_Level [wikipedia.org]

Re:Article misleads about EAL6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808733)

Don't forget the paperclip.

You don't know how your walls can be breached (4, Insightful)

wintermute42 (710554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808541)

The nature of computer system penetration (hacking) is that it takes a great deal of time and patience. The attacker will put a lot of effort into learning everything they can about the system and then more time in probing possible vulnerabilities.

Linux and Unix systems in general have a better underlying security model than Windows (e.g., the way root/administrator vs. user is handled). Unix architectures also had years of students attacking them (back before this was a serious crime). However, if those of us who are Linux fans are honest we know that the reason we don't have to worry as much about Linux attacks is that hackers target Windows because it is more pervasive.

The Greenhills operating system has never been exposed to a large group of people who are willing to spend a lot of time penetrating it. The idea that you can just label a system as secure seems questionable. You always get attacked via means that you didn't expect. What they're really saying is that the system implements a security model that they believe to be secure. But B1 bombers are not placed on the Internet protecting large amounts of money, so they are unlikely to attract hackers.

Runs on the 787? (1)

Markimedes (1292762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808547)

I've worked with test benches running the OS and hardware that is going on the 787.

If it's the same thing, it's going to be interesting seeing something like windows or linux run on it.

It has different processing areas, and each of the areas run on a different piece of hardware. So you basically had one computer running datalink to ground stations and other aircraft and another computer doing navigational computations (and several other computers doing various other tasks).

If windows were the same way it would be like.. having a different set of ram and a different processor running network tasks from ones running hard drive communication tasks.

Then again the OS that connects all of these together might be more flexible than I imagine, I only work on a small piece of software that runs on one of the aforementioned.

The most hardened OS ever (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808549)

The most hardened OS ever is any OS running in an signal-leak-proof room in the middle of a mountain with well-paid, trustworthy guards manning the entrance and a booby trap to bury and destroy the computer if anyone unauthorized gets past the entrance.

In this environment, even Windows 98 is secure.

Cost? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808553)

OpenBSD is free, and I guarantee "that it can defend against well-funded and sophisticated attackers."

Re:Cost? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808799)

How much money do you put behind that guarantee? And really, how sure are you that it is going to stand up to billion dollar funded attackers? That such an attack won't find even a single buffer overflow attack, or some similar.

Re:Cost? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808817)

Well if an Anonymous Coward guarantees it...

Security? (1)

sdkmvx (1283388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808557)

Doesn't the security of a computer system rely on a good sysadmin? I could open every port known to man, but I don't need to and its insecure, or I could only run services I need, and keep them patched and up-to-date. This should be factored into security levels.

Re:Security? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808783)

Doesn't the security of a computer system rely on a good sysadmin?

Partially, but not entirely. There are other factors.

I could open every port known to man, but I don't need to and its insecure, or I could only run services I need, and keep them patched and up-to-date. This should be factored into security levels.

And how would you protect yourself from the Apple laptop wireless flaw that was remotely exploitable by anyone in wireless range? Apple chose to protect themselves by threatening to sue the guy who discovered it, but that isn't a very good security method. Not many of us can afford that many lawyers :)

Another example: in the past, flaws have been found in tcp/ip stacks that are exploitable even if you have all ports firewalled off.

Even OpenBSD had a bug that could be triggered by sending a specially crafted IPv6 fragmented packet.

Good security isn't easy.

Airwallin' the night away (1)

UngodAus (198713) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808657)

So it has not network stack? Or keyboard? Or monitor, or... That's the only way I'd deem it that secure.

OpenBSD? (2, Insightful)

1053r (903458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808689)

Does anybody know if OpenBSD (or any *BSD for that matter) has ever received a rating? Or at least, what it would probably rate if it were to receive a rating? I would suspect that it would rate at least with Linux or perhaps one higher, seeing as their slogan is "only two remote holes in the default install in over a decade."

OS X, enough said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25808823)

Why not OS X? One can argue that it is 100% secure against intrusion attempts with its track record.

EAL6 + EAL4 = ?? (1)

AlexNicoll (1221314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25808887)

This is silly. It is an EAL6+ operating system that will host EAL4+ guest operatnig systems, probably so that someone can actually do something useful with it. So, can someone explain to me how the data in that EAL4 operating system isn't vulnerable to a casual/incidental attacker? How does running a vulnerable OS on an invulnerable OS make the vulnerable one any safer? (I have the same problems with people claiming VMWare makes them more secure...)
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