The French network security agency ANSSI has opened up its secure operating system CLIP OS, which is based on the Linux kernel. ANSSI says it has been developing and upgrading the CLIP OS for more than a decade, and the Linux operating system incorporates a set of security mechanisms to protect against malicious code and protect sensitive information. It provides a partitioning mechanism that allows both public and confidential information to be processed simultaneously in two wholly isolated software environments on the same computer, avoiding the leakage of sensitive information to the public network.
The CLIP OS is licensed under the LGPL 2.1+ license, and the source code is hosted on GitHub. According to ANSSI, the open source project is currently in alpha and is still active in development. It has similar goals to Qubes OS, but the isolation mechanism is vastly different.
Here is a list of security properties that are not easy to obtain in currently available operating systems:
- Multi-level support to handle information at multiple confidentiality levels.
- Restricted administrator access in production: an administrator should not be able to compromise a system deployed in production nor access user data.
- Fully automated and unattended builds from source of the system images.
- Deep environment integration opportunities.