VxWorks MILS-based Systems Moving From Lab to Deployment

VxWorks MILS-based Systems Moving From Lab to Deployment

By Paul Parkinson


In a recent blog post, ‘Security in the Internet of Things‘, Paul Chen discussed the importance of security in the Internet of Things (IoT), and how Wind River had recently released two new versions of the VxWorks MILS Platform, which can be used for securing critical infrastructure. Paul also mentioned that the VxWorks MILS Platform is available with a comprehensive security evidence package, and it’s worth reflecting on the significance of this important milestone.

The Multiple Independent Levels of Security (MILS) software architecture was originally proposed many years ago, and in recent years as technology and commercial implementations of separation kernels (SK) have evolved, the development of MILS systems has become technically and commercially viable.

The release of the comprehensive security evidence package for VxWorks MILS provides the relevant artefacts which support the high robustness claims that Wind River makes for the VxWorks MILS Separation Kernel. The evidence package contains the relevant security artefacts for “U.S. Government Protection Profile for Separation Kernels in Environments Requiring High Robustness,” version 1.03 (SKPP) and Common Criteria, including covert channel analysis and penetration testing results. These artefacts can be used as part of a system certification under the recently revised security evaluation processes.

I also want to highlight the fact that this package also includes the safety artefacts required for RTCA DO-178C (EUROCAE ED-12C) Design Assurance Level A safety certification. This is particularly important as there is an increasing trend for critical infrastructure systems to have both safety and security requirements, e.g. security-critical systems that fly in aircraft in commercial airspace.

These artefacts enable Wind River customers to utilize the VxWorks MILS architecture in their critical infrastructure applications, prior to the deployment of these systems. In summary, the use of MLS architectures is moving from R&D/early adopter phase to mainstream usage.

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