Information Warfare: Linux Goes To War

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April 21,2008: One method of protecting your military networks from hackers is to use an operating system other than the ubiquitous Microsoft Windows (which controls over 85 percent of the market). Linux has been a popular choice for the military. The U.S. Navy uses Linux to run critical systems on its warships. The U.S. Army is using Linux for its networked FCS (Future Combat System) vehicles (which are still in development). The army is also converting many of its Microsoft Windows applications to run under Linux.

It's not just the better security Linux provides, but the fact that there are many versions of Linux to choose from, and the operating system is easier to modify (being an "open source" system, unlike the proprietary Windows.) Currently, the U.S. Department of Defense has over 200 Linux based software projects in development.

China has also gone down this route, and is trying to get all Chinese computer users to switch to Linux. This has proved difficult, because so many Chinese use stolen Windows software to run their businesses. Often, there is no Linux alternative for key Windows applications. The military, however, uses custom made software for its most critical applications, and it's easier to create this stuff using Linux.

 


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