NSA updates SELinux

The National Security Agency has released a new version of Security Enhanced Linux (SElinux), NSA program manager Stephen Smalley announced on the software's mailing list last week.

This new version, build R080305, is the first update of the software since last September.

New features in the update include improved error reporting, reduced memory usage, some new policy capabilities and additions to the library.

SELinux is a patch for the Linux operating system kernel that provides mandatory access control, one that uses NSA's Flask MAC architecture. MAC confines each process executed on the machine according to predefined security policies set by the organization.

Users can install the SELinux core in their own Linux systems or run NSA's own version of the operating system.

Red Hat incorporates SELinux in its Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. The volunteer-led Debian distribution also includes SElinux, and Canonical is preparing to include SELinux in its next version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, due in April.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


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