Android 3 gets defense secure

Friday 14th October 2011
Android 3.0 3.0 Honeycomb was a tablet-oriented[52][53][54] release which supports larger screen devices and introduces many new user interface features, and supports multicore processors and hardware acceleration for graphics.[55] The Honeycomb SDK has been released and the first device featuring this version, the Motorola Xoom tablet, went on sale in February 2011.[56]

It's not just Fraunhofer working on Smartphone security. A research team from Google, George Mason University and the National Security Agency have developed a hardened kernel for the Android 3.0 operating system that could solve the problem of using smart phones in military operations and emergency response.

The Android 3.0 kernel which is in the final stages of certification testing reports  Defense Systems which opens the way for the Army to begin issuing smart phones or tablet-type wireless devices to troops in combat operations. 

The White House also is interested because the hardened kernel could help fulfill a government plan to create a secure national wireless network for first responders, Michael McCarthy, operations director of the Army’s Brigade Modernization Command’s Mission Command Complex, said at the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington on Oct. 10.

McCarthy also heads the service’s (CSDA ) programme, the lead organisation involved in selecting handheld wireless technologies for military use.

"One problem has been getting the right security accreditation to operate on military networks and eventually on classified networks. This is particularly important to allow smart phones to connect into battlefield networks But there were delays in getting the operating system accredited until the NSA offered to expedite the approval process," McCarthy said.

The new effort has seen a series of meetings with CSDA program personnel and representatives from the NSA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Android kernel appeared about a month ago is now being tested for a Federal Information Processing Standard 104-2 certification, expected by mid-October.  

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