Google Funds Linux to Improve the Security of Android and Chrome Operating Systems Using the Rust Programming Language
Operating systems must have strong security to ensure that users are safe in the digital world. The existence of digital threats like black-hat hacking has brought fear to people. Hence, developers are putting extra work into keeping their operating systems strong enough to protect their users.
Common Security Problems on Operating Systems
Problems that arise in our computers or smartphones may be associated with hardware, software, networks, or even a combination of the three. Various measures are implemented to solve such problems, but it is also important to have preventive measures.
One aspect where problems arise is the operating system’s security. Some of the common issues are software vulnerabilities, authentication, malware, and physical security. Hence, security systems contain preventive-control techniques that will protect the device from such security issues.
Companies have been aggressive in improving the security of their operating systems. High security will enhance the quality of their services, thus, improving the user experience. An example would be the recent project of Google and Linux, which aims to improve the Android and Chrome operating systems.
The Linux Kernel Project
Stephen Shankland from CNET said that Google would fund Linux to increase security in Android and Chrome operating systems. They will do it by writing additional parts on the operating system’s core using the Rust programming language. The project’s success would boost user safety and drive a significant technological and cultural shift for Linux.
The Linux kernel serves as the heart of the Linux operating system and the core interface between a computer’s hardware and its processes. Its functions include memory and process management, device drivers, and systems calls and security.
Liam Tung from Microsoft News stated that a proposal was made to include the Rust programming language in the main languages used for the Linux kernel. The goal is to use Rust to eliminate tons of security bugs in the kernel, which will result in more robust security in various devices.
Google Funds Linux for Increasing its Overall Security
Linux and Google have pitched the project regarding the utilization of the Rust programming language in Miguel Ojeda. Google funds Linux’s contract and project, which is being extended through the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). ISRG is a public-benefit corporation that aims to reduce financial, technological, and educational barriers in securing communication in the digital world.
One of the primary reasons Google funded the project is that its major services like YouTube and Gmail rely on Linux servers. Dan Lorenc, Staff Software Engineer in Google, said that security plays a critical role in the sustainability of open-source software. Hence, strengthening the security in the Linux servers will also improve the quality of Google services.
Funding the security and development of the Linux kernel should be a collaborative effort by the world’s largest companies. After all, most of their services are based on the Linux System. Gustavo Silva, a Linux maintainer, also mentioned the need to build a high-quality kernel that is reliable, robust, and more resistant to attacks.
How the Rust Programming Language Can Boost the Security of the Internet and Smartphones
Mozilla developed the Rust language, but it is now under the Rust Foundation. Many companies and software developers of Firefox, Dropbox, and Cloudflare use Rust as their programming language. Those companies use the Rust programming language due to its benefits, which include the following:
- Performance – It is fast and memory-efficient.
- Reliability – It provides memory safety and thread-safety.
- Productivity – It has top-notch tools for messages.
In terms of security, Rust can close pathways in which hackers can use to attack devices. Linux has been using the old C programming language, but it is vulnerable to attacks. Hence, it was proposed to include Rust as one of the major programming languages used in the Linux kernel.
Despite the potential benefits of using Rust, some developers raised their concerns regarding its implementation. Integrating Rust in Linux may pose a problem on the other versions of Linux, particularly in its compatibility. It is because many C languages, which are the ones currently used, are not entirely supported by Rust. However, the goal of the project is not to replace the C language but rather to improve the existing Linux kernel.
As Google funds Linux, the digital world is one step closer to a safer environment. With the Rust programming language, the project will improve and add parts to the Linux kernel. It will strengthen user security since it eliminates avenues for attacks. However, it is essential to note that the Rust language will not entirely replace the current C language used by Linux.
Google’s investment is heavily influenced by the dependence of its services on Linux servers. However, it also provides a call to action to other leading companies to invest in their programming languages, tools, and platforms. By doing so, they can give more attention to preventive measures for security problems instead of focusing on the solution.
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