"An operating system used in military fighter planes has raised the bar for system security as a new commercial offering, after receiving the highest security rating by a National Security Agency (NSA)-run certification program.
Green Hills Software announced that its Integrity-178B operating system was certified as EAL6+ and that the company had spun off a subsidiary to market the OS to the private sector as well as government agencies. "[EAL6+] is the highest [rating] in the world. This means that the OS was designed and certified to defend against well-funded and sophisticated attackers," says David Chandler, CEO of Integrity Global Security LLC, the new Green Hills subsidiary.
Windows and Linux, meanwhile, are EAL 4+ certified, which means they can defend against "inadvertent and casual" security breach attempts, Chandler says. Integrity-178 B meets the rigorous Common Criteria Separation Kernel Protection Profile (SKPP) standard, which guarantees that malicious code can't corrupt or harm any other application running on the system.
"I'm delighted that they have accomplished this," said Stephen Hanna, a co-chair of the Trusted Computing group and distinguished engineer with Juniper Networks, during his keynote at the CSI 2008 conference in National Harbor, Md., today. "This is serious security."
The OS, which was first deployed in the B1B bomber in 1997, today runs in military and commercial aircraft, including the F-16, F-22, and F-25 military jets, and the Airbus 380 and Boeing 787 airplanes. "It was developed for the highest level of security and reliability," Chandler says. "It's designed to provide a separation, so that what's happening in one area of the computer will not hurt the other part of the OS.""