Mandrake in contract to boost Linux security

A consortium including Mandrakesoft, the Paris-based Linux seller that recently exited bankruptcy protection, has won a three-year contract worth 7 million euro ($8.6 million) to improve Linux security.

Mandrakesoft, joined by Bertin Technologies, Surlog, Jaluna and Oppida, will boost Linux so it meets the Evaluation Assurance Level 5 (EAL5) of an internationally used security certification called Common Criteria, the companies said Thursday. The certification is particularly important among military and government customers; the French Ministry of Defense is funding the project.

The EAL5 certification level is significantly higher than what current versions of Linux have attained. Red Hat reached EAL2 in April and EAL3+ in August, while Novell’s SuSE Linux reached EAL3+ in January. Those companies, which dominate the commercial market for the open-source operating system, are working on higher certifications in conjunction with IBM and Oracle.

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