Microsoft to share windows source code with indian army

Lions Of Punjab

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Microsoft To Share Windows Source Code With Indian Army

The Indian Army will be using proprietary Windows source code of Microsoft with an aim to develop Secure Operating System.

"Microsoft has agreed to give the source code. Selection of a secure operating system is on," an Army officer was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald on February 3.

Access to the source code will assist the Army to make its software more impregnable to cyber attacks. Indian Army takes every precaution in the book to secure its systems while expanding its digital footprint. At the core of the digital backbone, lies a high bandwidth Army data network that has connected almost 2500 Army units all over the country. Several software and applications are being developed to improve the communications between the ranks.

But live streaming of the operations is still not on the cards. As a large number of IT hardware is manufactured in China, the defence forces have a screening system in place to check the presence of any hidden malware. Sharing of the Windows source code was a matter of contention as the US firm had refused to part with the code to Indian government agencies in the past.

With the entry of the Linux in the Indian market more than a decade ago, Microsoft had stated it was willing to discuss source code sharing issues with the Indian government.

 

Bangalorean

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I don't quite understand how this will work or how this will help.

Modifying windows source code (even if Microsoft gives over the full thing, which itself is unlikely to begin with) is not a simple task. It requires massive expertise, and the Army does not have that expertise. They will need to outsource the entire thing to a professional IT firm. Even that does not guarantee anything.

I don't think this is going to work out well.
 

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Dark Sorrow

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I remember hearing about the govt trying to create an Indian OS using Linux, perhaps this would be a good time to look into that project.

Got it: Bharat Operating System Solutions | BOSSLinux

BOSS :cool2:

I havent used it myself, but heard it was not that great. Perhaps the govt can put some work into it, and get something useful out of it.

So this is what is happening with boss:
Government's OS BOSS dying a slow death due to lack of patronage
Why reinvent the wheel. We can use of the shelf flavor like OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat, etc.
 

Free Karma

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Why reinvent the wheel. We can use of the shelf flavor like OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora, Redhat, etc.
To customize it for their purposes (what ever that maybe) Dont know a whole lot about Linux, but basically the OS must be owned by some entity in India., to prevent reliance on foreign software, which could be used for spying etc.


China are doing the same too:
China Hopes to Have Its Own Operating System Ready by October | WinInfo content from Windows IT Pro
 

Dark Sorrow

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To customize it for their purposes (what ever that maybe) Dont know a whole lot about Linux, but basically the OS must be owned by some entity in India., to prevent reliance on foreign software, which could be used for spying etc.


China are doing the same too:
China Hopes to Have Its Own Operating System Ready by October | WinInfo content from Windows IT Pro
Linux is not an OS but an kernel. It handles process scheduling, memory management, interrupts, inter-process communication, etc. It is bunch of sub-routines written to control any given hardware.

No single entity owns Linux. It is a community project. Linux kernel source code is available on internet for everyone. All we need is Linux kernel to develop software for any system with soft real time requirement.

Linux is very much stable and secure than almost all available OS.

Android framework also use Linux Kernel.
 
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DingDong

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Indian Army does it again. Love for Foreign maal never ends.
 

Free Karma

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Linux is not an OS but an kernel. It handles process scheduling, memory management, interrupts, inter-process communication, etc. It is bunch of sub-routines written to control any given hardware.

No single entity owns Linux. It is a community project. Linux kernel source code is available on internet for everyone. All we need is Linux kernel to develop software for any system with soft real time requirement.

Linux is very much stable and secure than almost all available OS.

Android framework also use Linux Kernel.
Hmm..I dont think you understand my point about the OS being owned by a company based out of India (or maybe the govt), instead of something off the shelf.

If IA does use RedHat or something off the shelf, they would still need it to be customized , supported and updated for new threats as and when they show up. For this they would have to have a contract/subscription with RedHat. Thats where the problem is, as RedHat is based in the U.S . Hence the U.S (and buddies) can force these companies to spy on their customers, through a sneaky update or so.

Or if you meant actually meant building/modifying something on top of the opensource code provided by RedHat etc...that would be fine( and is normally what a lot of orgs do for example see quake engine's evolution to bf/CoD etc)
 
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Free Karma

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Seems the army has a full fledged Digitization project going on:

Indian Army aims to become 100 per cent digital, for Cloud storage system - The Economic Times

Army sources, however, said the infrastructure for a Cloud storage system already exists but has not been made operational because of the present policy. "A policy review is under consideration". Once Cloud system becomes operational, it would store all non-classified information of every Indian soldier which can be accessed by authorised personnel as and when needed, they added. The Army has already initiated a full-fledged digitalisation programme under which every unit and each soldier would become digitally savvy. Each Indian Army unit will have data capability with high bandwidth connectivity.

Apart from these, the Army is also working on a data-radio set that can transmit video from a border post in LoC or the Line of Actual Control to the headquarters here live, they said. "The Army has already initiated programmes to connect every soldier to its secluded central data bank through hard-wired links," sources said, adding that a digital literacy programme has been initiated. Presently, all Army battalion headquarters are connected through the Wide Area Network (WAN) which provides secure communications between units through a desktop-to-desktop messaging application.

Asked if Chinese equipment would be used in the digitalisation programme, sources said, most were being done indigenously. "Any foreign component undergoes strict security checks," they said, adding that while Indian Army is already digital to a large extent, it is aiming for being "100 per cent digital". Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in October told the Combined Commanders' Conference: "When we speak of Digital India , we would also like to see a Digital Armed Force".

He had asked the Services to give serious thought to upgrade technological skills for effective projection of power by men.
 

boris

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Linux is not an OS but an kernel. It handles process scheduling, memory management, interrupts, inter-process communication, etc. It is bunch of sub-routines written to control any given hardware.

No single entity owns Linux. It is a community project. Linux kernel source code is available on internet for everyone. All we need is Linux kernel to develop software for any system with soft real time requirement.

Linux is very much stable and secure than almost all available OS.

Android framework also use Linux Kernel.
Almost close but BSD Unix's like FreeBSD,OpenBSD are even more secure than Linux distro's, OpenBSD is known for its very high level of security.
 

Dark Sorrow

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Almost close but BSD Unix's like FreeBSD,OpenBSD are even more secure than Linux distro's, OpenBSD is known for its very high level of security.
Security is relative term and often depends on the implementer (both system and application). If Linux is secured by the implementer it is as secure as BSD.
 

Dark Sorrow

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Dark Sorrow

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Hmm..I dont think you understand my point about the OS being owned by a company based out of India (or maybe the govt), instead of something off the shelf.

If IA does use RedHat or something off the shelf, they would still need it to be customized , supported and updated for new threats as and when they show up. For this they would have to have a contract/subscription with RedHat. Thats where the problem is, as RedHat is based in the U.S . Hence the U.S (and buddies) can force these companies to spy on their customers, through a sneaky update or so.

Or if you meant actually meant building/modifying something on top of the opensource code provided by RedHat etc...that would be fine( and is normally what a lot of orgs do for example see quake engine's evolution to bf/CoD etc)
Sir, developing and testing new OS from scratch is very difficult if not impossible. What is the guarantee that locally developed OS will be secure. At least Linux is time tested mature system.

In embedded systems (which is main type of computing system used in military), we have Linux Kernel on which application software and middle ware framework are implemented. Its up to the system designer and application program implementer to secure the system.

You don't need general purpose computer for most military activities as the computation is application specific. Example Radar computer don't need full fledged General Purpose OS (GPOS), having a customized Linux kernel patched for real time operations works.

Common example for securing/to harden Linux are like turn of communication peripheral that are not needed. In network centric accept communication only from known port, etc.
Linux Kernel by itself is very secure but it is up to system and application designer to harden it even further.
 

sorcerer

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@Dark Sorrow
IMO, this Microsoft thingy would be for the Indian Army offices and administrative purposes and not for platform specific applications. These offices could be using third party windows compatible software for office management and application suit.

It could be an effort to make the administrative systems safe.
The autopsy of Windows Soruce code may have to do with that.

I am a linux user ever but as I understand ; LInux Distros are THE BEST but creates compatibility issues with certain hardware configurations.
When procuring hardware by different departments across our geography such inconsistencies will creat unchecked holes. These conflicts in compatibility would require dependence on backports. May be this ambuiguity must have given the decision to look into Windows Source Code.

I agree with you on platform specifics needs ..Linux distros rwak. Its ze Don.. an option we cant refuse. :D
 
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Bangalorean

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Agree with @Dark Sorrow. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Creating an OS is not child's play. It will require a $20 million effort to build something up to the mark. And that will also require several iterations to get all bugs and issues ironed out.

You can use the Linux Kernel to begin with, and build something on top of it. That is the best way to go.
 
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Dark Sorrow

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@Dark Sorrow
I am a linux user ever but as I understand ; LInux Distros are THE BEST but creates compatibility issues with certain hardware configurations.
Sir can you enlighten us regarding the same.
 
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Bangalorean

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Sir can you enlighten us regarding the same.
I think he is referring to the everlasting device driver problem on Linux. Most devices just don't work on Linux. Only the most popular printers, sound cards, graphics cards, etc. work well on Linux. Most others simply don't work. The crux of the issue is the GPL. Linux insists that the device drivers should be open source, distributed as part of the Linux source code. That is the spirit of GNU GPL . Some manufacturers agreed, most didn't. So, Linux hackers were left with the unenviable task of trying to reverse engineer the drivers, with mixed success.
 

Free Karma

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Sir, developing and testing new OS from scratch is very difficult if not impossible. What is the guarantee that locally developed OS will be secure. At least Linux is time tested mature system.
I Dont think you understood my posts, When did I ever suggest not using/building on top of linux (or something else)?

In embedded systems (which is main type of computing system used in military), we have Linux Kernel on which application software and middle ware framework are implemented. Its up to the system designer and application program implementer to secure the system.

You don't need general purpose computer for most military activities as the computation is application specific. Example Radar computer don't need full fledged General Purpose OS (GPOS), having a customized Linux kernel patched for real time operations works.
I think this is more about general purpose and not really about embedded systems.
 
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