‘Ubuntu 12.04 LTS more se­cure than Mac and Win­dows!’

OpenSource For You - - FOSS BYTES -

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS has topped a Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence agency’s assess­ment of mo­bile and desk­top op­er­at­ing sys­tems, be­ing the only op­er­at­ing sys­tem to fully pass nine of the 12 listed se­cu­rity rec­om­men­da­tions. The Com­mu­ni­ca­tions-Elec­tron­ics Se­cu­rity Group (CESG), the in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity arm of GCHQ (Govern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Head­quar­ters) in the UK, eval­u­ated the se­cu­rity strengths and weak­nesses of 11 of the most pop­u­lar ‘end user’ OSs to of­fer prac­ti­cal ad­vice on how govern­ment and pub­lic sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions should go about de­ploy­ing de­vices that use them.

Google’s An­droid, Ap­ple’s Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Win­dows 7, 8 and RT were among the sys­tems com­pared against a 12-point list of se­cu­rity cri­te­ria. Each OS was graded against pa­ram­e­ters rang­ing from the pro­fi­ciency of disc en­cryp­tion and au­then­ti­ca­tion, to the risk of mal­ware, sup­port for ap­pli­ca­tion sand­box­ing, and the se­cure­ness of VPN ser­vices. Ubuntu, along with Win­dows 8 and Mac OS X 10.8, has no ‘sig­nif­i­cant risk’ flag against it, con­firms the re­port.

Ubuntu was marked down on VPN and en­cryp­tion be­cause its im­ple­men­ta­tion/soft­ware has yet to be in­de­pen­dently as­sessed by an ap­proved CESG body. The VPN is­sue is ex­pected to be ad­dressed in time for the re­lease of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Mean­while, Canon­i­cal is seek­ing a spon­sor to put the soft­ware through the assess­ment process with re­spect to en­cryp­tion.

The re­port gave de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on the se­cu­rity of each OS’ fea­tures, along with guid­ance for sys­tems ad­min­is­tra­tors on how best to set up and con­fig­ure de­vices so that they meet the nec­es­sary gov­ern­men­tal se­cu­rity stan­dards.

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