Novell made the AppArmor announcement on January 10th in a press release, acknowledging that application security is important for protecting Linux from attacks, viruses, and malicious applications. According to the community-based OpenSUSE project page, the tool applies the principal of least privilege to applications and restricts their ability to use system resources through privilege confinement. Ars technica provides some commentary and a comparison with Red Hat's Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) technology. AppArmor is thought to be simpler to configure and have lower overhead than SELinux.
The GNU release includes supporting statements from IBM, HP, Oracle, MySQL, JBoss, and others. According to Open Source Development Lab CEO Stuart Cohen, "Novell's move to open source AppArmor will help advance the state of the art of Linux and open source computing platforms. Novell's AppArmor development team helped to pioneer the Linux Security Modules technology."
The project's development page is available on NovellForge. Both IBM and HP have announced that they will commit developers to the project. The formerly commercial tool for enterprise environments has been open-sourced to bring more developers to the community project.
Posted by: Kelly Martin