Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 3rd May 2009 09:16 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Privacy, Security, Encryption Can you make Windows XP so secure that the United States Air Force will use it in its systems? Well, apparently, you can, but you do have to talk to Microsoft. The USAF wanted a locked-down edition of Windows XP, and since they were in the midst of renegotiating the desktop-software contract with Microsoft, they decided to ask Steve Ballmer directly to create it for them. They did.
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hm
by SK8T on Sun 3rd May 2009 09:36 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

Don't know how what I should think about this.

There are two points that annoy me:
- XP is 10 years old, it's damn old technologie for the air force
- Microsoft says vista is more secure in every point. I think a locked-down vista would be more secure. You can't take windows 98 and say "it's locked down, it's more secure than XP" because there are technologies that are just missing in the older operating system.

Reply Score: 2

RE: hm
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 3rd May 2009 09:41 in reply to "hm"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Did you see the time frame? This project was started WAY BEFORE Vista got out. Changing operating systems is not something to be taken lightly for such an important institution as the USAF, where lives may be at stake.

In addition that that, Windows XP might be old, but it IS tried and true by now. In addition, I'm sue Microsoft backported some of Vista's security features to this special version of Windows XP.

Edited 2009-05-03 09:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: hm
by ssa2204 on Sun 3rd May 2009 10:30 in reply to "RE: hm"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Well given the fact it takes about 10-15 years to deploy a new weapons system, the fact they are using XP and not DOS is A+ ;)

Reply Parent Score: 11

RE[2]: hm
by Isolationist on Sun 3rd May 2009 14:12 in reply to "RE: hm"
Isolationist Member since:
2006-05-28

Changing operating systems is not something to be taken lightly for such an important institution as the USAF, where lives may be at stake.


If lives may be at stake, then why use their products in the first place?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: hm
by PlatformAgnostic on Sun 3rd May 2009 14:51 in reply to "RE: hm"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

I took a look at the NIST site for this program when I first saw this news item. I don't think there's any code change involved here (though the USAF and other militaries probably get wind of patches and known security issues before the general public). What these guys have is a specific security template, a system convert between an XML security description language and a set of actions to change the system configuration, and a set of policies specified in that XML language. The configuration system applies to Vista as well (there are policies available on NIST's site for both OSes).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: hm
by Lennie on Sun 3rd May 2009 17:27 in reply to "RE: hm"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Or the other way around, they created this first and used it as a base for Vista.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: hm
by BillaBong on Tue 5th May 2009 01:26 in reply to "hm"
BillaBong Member since:
2009-05-05

Loser boy Gilligan is ancient history. Vista is the current standard configuration and it's at the federal level. All you need is one image of a standardized configuration, so without writing any additional code, it happened. Everyone is put into the "user" category and essentially no executables will run and anything with the associated shield cannot be changed without admin privs. Every day the grass is mowed anyway so if your configuration doesn't match what it's supposed to be your box gets reset. As for his comment about "arrogant apps", Gilligan's an arrogant ass, seeing as how he'd go to money bags Ballmer but not to help others design software compatible to the configurations. So, bottom line is that there's no code written that gives the g-men/babes access to your system. The Chinese and Russians are probably already in your box anyway.

Reply Parent Score: 0