Security Takes Lead in Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Secure certifications, partnerships and SELinux take precedence on Red Hat's security roadmap.


Since its availability in 2002, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has achieved important milestones in security standards:

  • In 2003 Red Hat Enterprise Linux was the first Linux platform to achieve Department of Defense (DoD) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Common Operating Environment (COE) certification.
  • In February 2004 Red Hat Enterprise Linux was awarded Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 2 certification.
  • In February 2004 Red Hat receives Mitre certification for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) compatibility for Security Advisories.

EAL 2 Certification and Plans for EAL 3 and 4
Last quarter Red Hat Enterprise Linux v. 3 was awarded Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) 2 certification by the UK IT Security Evaluation and Certification Scheme. The evaluation is in compliance with the U.S. government's security policy directives. The Common Criteria Scheme enables consumers to obtain an impartial assessment of an IT product by an independent lab. This impartial assessment, or security evaluation, includes an analysis of the IT product and the testing of the product for conformance to a set of security requirements. Security standards play a critical role in today's computing architecture and Red Hat is working to achieve higher levels of security evaluation with EAL 3 and 4 certification in future releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Oracle sponsored and worked with Red Hat to submit Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the EAL 2 security evaluation. "Red Hat's completion of the Common Criteria evaluation at EAL2 allows security-conscious customers to be assured of using a secure operating system to run their enterprise applications," said Mary Ann Davidson, Chief Security Officer, Oracle Corp.

Mitre CVE Compatibility
A second security accomplishment for Red Hat is the certification from Mitre for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) compatibility for Security Advisories. CVE aims to standardize the names for all publicly known vulnerabilities and security exposures to simplify security practices. Red Hat is the only Linux vendor to be awarded this certification for security standards.

SELinux Roadmap
Most recently made available in March as part of Fedora Core 2, test 2, Security Enhanced Linux is the most significant milestone in Red Hat's security roadmap for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Benefits to customers with an implementation of SELinux will be reduced risk and exposure to many of the common security vulnerabilities as well as system access control at a much more granular level. SELinux will be fully integrated and available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux v. 4 in early 2005.

"Security certifications and compliance with standards are top priorities for Red Hat and are key drivers of innovation." said Paul Cormier, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Red Hat. "We are committed to industry standards and will continue to drive acceptance and adherence of standards, leading by example"

For more information on EAL, CVE or other standards, please visit To download Fedora Core 2, test 2, with SELinux please visit



About Red Hat, Inc.

Red Hat, the world's leading open source and Linux provider, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with satellite offices spanning the globe. Red Hat is leading Linux and open source solutions into the mainstream by making high quality, low cost technology accessible. Red Hat provides operating system software along with middleware, applications and management solutions. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide and through top-tier partnerships. Red Hat's open source strategy offers customers a long term plan for building infrastructures that are based on and leverage open source technologies with focus on security and ease of management. Learn more:

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