NSA's Flask coming to OpenSolaris

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Sun taps National Security Agency for Flux Advanced Security Kernel.

Sun Microsystems is to team up with the US National Security Agency (NSA) to develop the OpenSolaris operating system.

The company will incorporate the NSA's Flux Advanced Security Kernel (Flask) into OpenSolaris to create mandatory access controls which allow administrators to limit which actions can be performed on user accounts.

Flask is also being used in the development of Security-Enhanced Linux.

"The NSA's expertise and Sun's 18 years' experience in delivering mandatory access control solutions, along with its commitment to the open standards community, provides the basis for investigating the use of Flask with OpenSolaris," said Sun president and chief executive Jonathan Schwartz.

"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."

Bill Vass, president and chief operating officer at Sun Microsystems Federal, said in a blog posting that the partnership would reap major benefits for Open Solaris developers.

"This represents another milestone in bringing flexible MAC to mainstream operating systems and will broaden the set of platforms that support this technology," he wrote.

"We believe this will augment Solaris' already strong adoption and security profile. We look forward to working closely with the NSA and the Flask community of developers to extend this advanced security technology into OpenSolaris."
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