Review of Fedora Core 2 test 1

Wednesday, 18 February 2004, 10:35 AM EST

With Fedora Core 2, Red Hat catches up with Debian and Gentoo by shipping SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux). On a traditional Linux system, permissions and access control to files and processes are controlled completely by users. root is all powerful, and programs inherit a user's rights, meaning that when a program is compromised, that user is also compromised. In cases of a program run as root, that means the attacker has access to the whole system.

In the new SELinux method, access is provided by a security policy set by the administrator and enforced by the system. There is no "all powerful root user". How Red Hat will be configuring (and causing to be configurable) the SELinux system, however, is currently unknown. I had hoped that this test release would include all their SELinux additions, but it did not.

By Dave Whitinger at LXer.

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