SELinux: Comprehensive security at the price of usability
Operating system security revolves around controlling access. Linux distributions subscribe to the Discretionary Access Control (DAC) mechanism that lets resource owners decide who gets to access the resource and how. People soon realized that DAC is not an ideal solution, as it gives applications the same privileges of the user running them. One compromised application running as root effectively compromises the full system. This led security experts to develop Mandatory Access Control (MAC), which grants access to resources as defined by a security policy, regardless of the user running the application. The SELinux project is the first mainstream implementation of MAC.
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