The Rapid Rise of Linux in the Government Sector

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IBM and Novell, two companies known for their information technology solutions, have announced that they have achieved new levels of security and operations certification for SUSE LINUX, which they trust will further enable the adoption of Linux by governments, as well as the Department of Defense for critical command-and-control operations.


SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 with Service Pack 3 on IBM eServers, has achieved Controlled Access Protection Profile compliance under The Common Criteria for Information Security Evaluation (CC), commonly referred to as CAPP/EAL3+.


IBM and SUSE LINUX also announced Common Operating Environment (COE) compliance on IBM xSeries and zSeries platforms with SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8, with support for pSeries and iSeries available in the first half of 2004. IBM said this achievement means that SUSE LINUX is the first Linux distributor to offer both Common Criteria and COE compliance in the same package, creating the opportunity to run operational applications in a secure environment. COE, a specification created by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), addresses functionality and interoperability requirements for commercially acquired IT products within its command-and-control systems.


“Today’s announcement with SUSE LINUX is another key development fueling the rapid rise of Linux in the government sector,” said James Stallings, general manager of Linux for IBM. “The Common Criteria certification across our server line further validates the security and quality of open-source software. Additionally, the achievement of the operating environment standard necessary for critical command-and-control operations signifies that Linux can now be considered on equal footing with other operating systems.”


The Common Criteria (CC) is an internationally recognized ISO standard (ISO/IEC 15408) used by the federal government and other organizations to assess security and assurance of technology products. “Certification under Common Criteria is a requirement for security-related products in our environment,” said William Wolf, U.S. Navy, Space & Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego. “We are encouraged by EAL 3 certification for Linux, as new doors will open to build flexible, cost-effective solutions for our end-users.”


The CC provides a standardized way of expressing security requirements and defines the respective set of rigorous criteria by which the product will be evaluated. It is widely recognized among IT professionals, government agencies and customers as a seal of approval for mission-critical software.


For more information about IBM’s security solutions, go to


Tanisha Blakely, Editor of Electronic Media–

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