Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

GnuPG for Solaris

GnuPG is available in Solaris starting with build 130.  OpenSolaris users can pull the latest packages from the /dev repository by looking for SUNWgnupg and SUNWpth packages.   GnuPG is a complete implementation of the PGP protocol (RFC 4880) with an open source license (GPL).  I will not enumerate all of its many features here, the GnuPG website has plenty of good information.  There are even a set of HowTo documents to help you get started using GnuPG. 

 Things to note:

  • SUNWgnupg delivers version 2.0.13 - the 1.4.XX versions are not included
  • you also need to install SUNWpth (GNU Portable Threads) package.

Also, with PGP support, you can now install the Enigmail plugin for Thunderbird and configure it to use the GnuPG that was installed with the SUNWgnupg package (/usr/bin/gpg2).  This will allow you to send encrypted or signed emails and also to decrypt and verify emails you get from your associates (assuming you have their public keys).  Once you install Enigmail successfully (I did it using Solaris on x86 with the bundled Thunderbird mail client - version 2.0.0.23 and the enigmail from the above link for x86), you should see an "OpenPGP" menu item that was not present before.  Using the items under that menu (Key Management) you can create a key for yourself that can be used for the crypto operations on your emails (sign/verify, encrypt/decrypt).


Tuesday Dec 01, 2009

Solaris Security Essentials - get it !

As my colleague Valerie has noted in her blog, the Solaris 10 Security Essentials is now officially published.

Though the title says "Solaris 10", most of the material applies to OpenSolaris or Solaris Express Developer/Community Edition as well.    The content was put together by a team of engineers in the Solaris Security group over a period of a year or so.   It really highlights many unique features of Solaris that administrators from "other" system's may not be familiar with.  Topics include using SMF for system protection, Role-Based Access Controls, the Solaris Cryptographic Framework, the Key Management Framework, and Trusted Extensions - just to name a few of the more unique Solaris Security features that are covered.

It's nice to be listed as a "published author".  My family and friends now think I'm the next Stephen King.  I had to explain that this book is neither fictional nor suspenseful.  Perhaps they just think I'm generally a scary guy.  Hmmm...

Anyway, buy the book!  It makes a great stocking stuffer for the security geek in your family!



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