NSA Teams Up with Sun on OpenSolaris Security

Agency plans to transfer technology improvements to private sector

Sun Microsystems and the National Security Agency announced this week that they are working together to develop new security tools for the OpenSolaris operating system.

The project, which will be developed through the OpenSolaris community, will focus on integrating mandatory access control (MAC) via Flux Advanced Security Kernel (Flask) architecture and Type Enforcement. It's a task that NSA researchers have already been working on, according to the release.

"NSA is pleased that the work of its research organization in the area of secure computing is being used as a foundation for secure solutions by industry," said Dick Schaeffer, chief of NSA's Information Assurance Directorate, in a press release announcing the project. "We are committed to promoting transfer of those technologies to the private sector to improve the assurance of commercial products that are becoming more critical to the future of the U.S. Government infrastructure."

"The combination of the NSA's expertise and Sun's 18 years of experience in delivering mandatory access control solutions, along with its commitment to the open standards community, provides the basis for investigating the use of the Flask functionality with the OpenSolaris operating system," commented Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz in the same release. "This is an opportunity to improve the security of an already robust OpenSolaris environment in a manner that may benefit government and commercial customers alike."

More information on this OpenSolaris project can be found here.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.