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Nsa Releases a Security-Enhanced Version of Android

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Android character

Credit: I Am Android

The U.S. National Security Agency has released a more secure version of Android, based on its research into mandatory access controls that led to the Security-Enhanced Linux project in 2000. SE Android enforces stricter access control policies than those available in the mobile operating system by default. SE Linux offers Linux kernel security modules and other tools that provide a flexible mechanism for restricting the use of resources or access to applications.

Although Android's application security model is based on the default Linux discretionary access control, SE Android operates under the mandatory access control model, which allows for restricting applications to whatever is defined in a policy, enabling it to confine privileged services to limit the damage of attackers who attempt to exploit vulnerabilities. For example, SE Android can block the GingerBreak root exploit at six different steps during its execution, depending on the degree of strictness in the enforcement policies.

The SE Android project does not provide any pre-compiled builds, which means installation on devices will not be straightforward, but instructions are available on its Web site.

From IDG News Service
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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