NSA-Grade “Security Enhanced” Android Source Released

January 17, 2012
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NSA and the military seem to love Android more and more because of it’s open source nature. First, it’s based on Linux, and NSA is already very familiar with it. They’ve had a SELinux version for a while, and now they are bringing those security enhancements to the Android Open Source Project as well.

The military has also been using Android for a while now, and they will also welcome these improvements. Unfortunately, the improvements are still only for older non-ICS versions of Android, but they can probably expect an SE-ICS version of Android in the next few months, too, which also comes with its own security improvements, such as full disk encryption.

Since it’s all out there in the open, it means that Google will be able to use some of them in future versions of Android, too. Manufacturers who want to target the enterprise market will also be thrilled to use the security improvements for their enterprise customers. Android hasn’t gotten a very big foothold in the enterprise market yet, in part because it hasn’t been long since the manufacturers tried to sell to enterprise customers, but also because of Android’s a bit tainted image with malware.

Hopefully, these and other future improvements in SEAndroid and the regular Android will help address some of those risks. If something is good enough for NSA, then it must be good enough for a regular user, too, right?

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