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Russian military plans to replace Windows with Astra Linux

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Original Post from Security Affairs
Author: Pierluigi Paganini

The Russian army seems to be in the process of replacing the Windows system with the Debian-based Linux distribution Astra Linux.

Cyber security seems to subvert the globalization concept, governments are working to develop their own technology fearing possible espionage and sabotage activities of foreign states.

The Russian military is in the process of replacing the Windows system with the Linux distribution Astra Linux .

Astra Linux is a Debian-based distro developed in Russia by the Scientific/Manufacturing Enterprise Rusbitech RusBITech about ten years ago.

“Astra Linux is a RussianLinux-based computer operating system developed to meet the needs of the Russian army, other armed forces and intelligence agencies. It provides data protectionup to the level of “top secret” in Russian classified information grade.” reads the Wikipedia page. “It has been officially certified by Russian Defense Ministry, Federal Service for Technical and Export Control and Federal Security Service.”

The Astra Linux distribution was initially used only by private companies, later Russian government agencies started using it after it was certifified to handle classified information.

Recently the Russian Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC) granted Astra Linux the security clearance of “special importance.” This level of authorization allows the use of the Linux OS in Russian Government offices with the highest standards of data privacy and the highest degree of secrecy.

The certification was granted for Astra Linux Special Edition version 1.6, (aka Smolensk).

The adoption of the Astra Linux distro in the Government environments will allow reducing costs security verification used by the Russian armed forces. Software and hardware qualification remain a crucial problem for almost any government that fear the possible presence of hidden backdoors.

Astra Linux

In the past, Russian Army officials raised concerns about the possible presence of hidden backdoors in the Windows operating system installed by U.S. intelligence agencies.  

The announcement of a move to Astra OS was made in January 2018 by the Russian Ministry of Defence.

A similar decision was also announced by the Chinese government that also plans to stop using the Microsoft operating system, especially after the recent ban of Chinese 5G technologies imposed by many western countries.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – Astra, Russia)

The post Russian military plans to replace Windows with Astra Linux appeared first on Security Affairs.

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Author: Pierluigi Paganini

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