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Demystifying SE Linux by Abhishek Singh on 21/12/05

This flavor of linux has strong Mandatory Access control Built into the kernel where by the process and objects such as files are classified based on the confidentiality and integrity requirement, hence the affect of a security breach is reduced to minimal.

It is to be noted that this doesnot mean that SE Linux was designed to correct flaws which are present in the Linux rather itís an attempt to use MAC (in contrast to DAC used by traditional Linux Systems) to make a system which will mitigate the affects of security policy breaches to a minimum, by the help of policies which specify the security requirements of a system.

Researchers in the Information Assurance Research Group of the National Security Agency (NSA) worked with Secure Computing Corporation (SCC) to develop a strong, flexible mandatory access control architecture based on Type Enforcement, a mechanism first developed for the LOCK system. The NSA and SCC developed two Mach-based prototypes of the architecture: DTMach and DTOS. The NSA and SCC then worked with the University of Utah's Flux research group to transfer the architecture to the Fluke research operating system. During this transfer, the architecture was enhanced to provide better support for dynamic security policies. This enhanced architecture was named Flask. The NSA has now integrated the Flask architecture into the Linux operating system to transfer the technology to a larger developer and user community.

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