Novell Open-Sources Major Linux Security Program

The AppArmor intrusion-prevention system protects Linux and its applications from the effects of attacks, viruses and malicious applications.

On Tuesday, Novell Inc. announced the creation of the AppArmor project, a new GPL open-source project dedicated to advancing Linux application security.

Novells AppArmor is an intrusion-prevention system that protects Linux and its applications from the effects of attacks, viruses and malicious applications.

AppArmor is based on technology that Novell acquired from Immunix, a leading provider of Linux host-based application security solutions, when it purchased the company in May 2005.

AppArmor works by "application containment." In this approach, the interactions between applications and users are monitored for possible security violations. This "has emerged as a favored way to protect applications from compromise and to protect applications from one another," observed Al Gillen, research director of system software at IDC when Novell acquired Immunix.

How these interactions are monitored is set by policies. The commercial version comes with predefined security policies for Web server applications such as the Apache Web server, the Postfix and Sendmail e-mail servers, the MySQL DBMS (database management system), and the Samba file and print server.

Novell has donated the core components of its AppArmor framework to provide a foundation for the project.

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