Linux on your phone - for real with data encryption. Linux gurus' dreams come true! ~ Ask The Admin

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Linux on your phone - for real with data encryption. Linux gurus' dreams come true!

Are you sitting down Linux Fan Boys & Girls? We'll wait...

A Linux startup company today officially launched a new, secure version of its operating system for mobile devices. Wipe that drool and continue reading on. You might be calling your geeky pals from a secure linux distro in the damn near future!

A la Mobile's Convergent Linux Platform (CLP) comes with hack proof, device-level tamper protection, application sand-boxing, and the option to encrypt not only your files but the os as well.

"One of the unique things we're doing is [adding] a root of trust in the device, so that every piece of software must be verified before it executes," says Dirk Sigurdson, senior software engineer at a la Mobile.

While Windows Mobile and Symbian dominate the PDA/Mobile market, Linux wants a shot to throw down the gauntlet:

According to ABI Research , around 204 million mobile phones will run on Linux by 2010.

Among the security features in the New Linux mobile phone OS are a secure boot loader, which uses a digital signature to verify the kernel at startup; data encryption on all data on the device; application sandboxing, which puts unsigned apps in a separate sandbox; and a secure firmware update, which digitally signs and verifies the "bootloader" before firmware gets updated. All great tools for the developer, admin or normal everyday Linux dude.

"All data stored in the device is encrypted. You can try to hack it or probe it, but it cannot be [hacked]," says Pauline Lo Alker, president and CEO of a la Mobile. "And the encryption key is protected and stored deep into device's CPU memory."

Lo Alker couldn't say which handset manufacturers will run a la Mobile's secure Linux OS yet. "We are in the thick of a few final touches on our design wins," she says, but a la Mobile is working with major mobile handset makers from Asia. Hmmm.. Can we say HTC? I would LOVE to be able to load this up on existing hardware. Any forums out there? Hit us up in the comments or via email Here.

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