Lightweight Portable Security: It's not just for the Pentagon

LPS-Public access tools is available to anyone as a free download

2010 GCN AwardsThe Defense Department’s Lightweight Portable Security-Public edition is designed as a general-purpose tool to enable secure Internet browsing and permit the performance of sensitive tasks from an untrusted computer. It was developed to facilitate telework and access to DOD websites that require authentication with a Common Access Card, but it also is available as a free download to the public.

More than 35,500 copies of LPS-Public have been downloaded since it became available in 2008. It can be burned to a disc or loaded on a USB drive and used to boot a lightweight, hardened Linux operating system. DOD does not keep track of who is using the tool or what it is being used for. But Richard Kutter, a senior electronics engineer at the department’s Defense Research and Engineering office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, said feedback showed that National Guard and Reserve personnel appreciate the tool. They can use LPS-Public as civilians to safely access CAC-enabled portals in the .mil space to do service-related business online.

The software also can be used at home or on the road for conducting financial transactions, sending sensitive e-mail or browsing sensitive websites from an untrusted computer without risking compromise or leaving a local record of activity. That means you could safely do your personal banking on your home computer without worrying about malicious code that your PC might have picked up from the questionable sites your kids have been visiting.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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