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