Feeds

NSA constructs hardened Android, unleashes it on world

Vicious apps squashed by super-spook mobile OS

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The US Defense Department's The National Security Agency (NSA) has released a security-hardened version of Google's mobile OS, Android.

The spook-enhanced build of the operating system was released last week and is based on SELinux, also created by the National Security Agency. The inaugural release of the SE Android project focuses on limiting the scope for malicious or flawed apps to cause mischief, as explained in the project documentation:

Security Enhanced (SE) Android is a project to identify and address critical gaps in the security of Android. Initially, the SE Android project is enabling the use of SELinux in Android in order to limit the damage that can be done by flawed or malicious apps and in order to enforce separation guarantees between apps. However, the scope of the SE Android project is not limited to SELinux.

Links to SE Android source code and instructions on putting it together can be found on the project's web page. The focus of the project is on damage limitation rather than prevention. The target audience of the project is clearly mobile developers, security experts or perhaps device manufacturers, and not regular Android smartphone users looking for a little extra privacy and security.

App support is low and if you don't know what you are doing you might even end up with a bricked smartphone. The goals of the SE Android were first publicly outlined during a presentation [PDF] at last year's Linux Security Summit. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.