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Revision Date Username Comment
809 Sep 2015 - 10:13ThomasMisa 
709 Sep 2015 - 10:12ThomasMisa 
612 Nov 2014 - 21:21ThomasMisa 
512 Nov 2014 - 21:13ThomasMisa 
403 Oct 2013 - 16:03norqu036? 
325 Jun 2013 - 14:36NicLewis 
225 Jun 2013 - 14:00NicLewis 
125 Jun 2013 - 12:36NicLewis 

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The Provably Secure Operating System (PSOS) began in 1973 as an SRI International project to develop a secure general-purpose operating system. Unlike the KSOS project, PSOS was a full operating system, rather than a security kernel. SRI pursued the PSOS operating system project in addition to KSOS because the SRI team determined that a full operating system offered greater flexibility than a security kernel, which was tailored to a single security model. Beginning with a general system design, the SRI team developed a complete system specification comprised of multiple software modules. The goal was to produce an operating system that adhered to both the Bell-LaPadula model of data confidentiality, and a second model that provided for data integrity. Although the project began in 1973, the project report in 1980 revealed the continuing difficulties the SRI team experienced in verifying the operating system as probably secure. Groups outside SRI experienced similar frustrations with verification, including a smaller security kernel project at the University of California at Los Angeles, and the Autodin (Automatic Digital Network) II secure packet-switching project for ARPAnet. These difficulties were largely due to the relative youth of formal verification procedures, the lack of automated verification tools, and the realization that components of the Bell-LaPadula model were too simple for many of the complex needs of a computer operating system.(1)(2)(3)


1 : lock Richard J. Feiertag and Peter G. Neumann, "The Foundations of a Provably Secure Operating System (PSOS)," 329-334, in Proceedings of the National Computer Conference 1979_, New York: AFIPS Press, 1979, 329-334. (Login required)

2 : lock P. G. Neumann, et al., A Provably Secure Operating System, Menlo Park, CA: Stanford Research Institute 1975, 0-1 - 0-5. (Login required)

3 : Donald MacKenzie, Mechanizing Proof: Computing, Risk, and Trust, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001, 168-170.

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Topic revision: r3 - 25 Jun 2013 - 14:36:22 - NicLewis
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