Linux makers take charge with security

Two companies announced Friday a new version of Security-Enhanced Linux, in a bid to build business from additions to the bare-bones operating system. The Open Source Development Group (OSDgroup), a Linux training firm, and Houston-based network consultancy Westcam have teamed up to release a package that adds a graphical installer and new security settings to the OS released by the National Security Agency almost two years ago.

The changes are designed to make the armored operating system more user-friendly for companies that are considering employing the software, said Mark Westerman, founder and managing partner of Westcam.

"This is the first release of the beta," he said. Beta, or test, software may still have bugs and is released to garner feedback from testers. While Westerman plans to sell copies of the final distribution--a collection of software including the core operating system--he believes that the company can also build a business around support and consulting for the package. Oxford, Miss.-based OSDgroup, Westcam's partner, plans to create courses to train companies in how to take full advantage of the new security features in their version of SE Linux.

The refined software is among the first developments to arise from the modifications to Linux released by NSA as SE Linux to the open-source community in early 2001. The Cyberspace Policy Institute, a group of academic researchers based at George Washington University, has called for the formation of a group to develop a full-fledged distribution based on SE Linux. However, no group has been formed yet.

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News source: ZDNet

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