Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) 1.5.0, a thin Linux operating system that creates a secure end node from trusted media on almost any Intel-based computer (PC or Mac), is now available for download.
LPS 1.5.0 is a different kind of operating system, although it's still based on Linux kernel, like most of the distros out there. Unlike established OSes, this is more like a thin client than anything else and it practically boots from a CD or USB flash stick without mounting a local hard drive. Users don't even need to have root access for this to work, because nothing is actually installed.
The distribution has been developed by the US Air Force Research Laboratory, as part of its Software Protection Initiative project, and can be used as a completely secure environment, mostly because the user can't install it and the outside world can't interact with anything.
“LPS-Public allows general web browsing and connecting to remote networks. It includes a smart card-enabled Firefox browser supporting CAC and PIV cards, a PDF and text viewer, Java, and Encryption Wizard - Public. LPS-Public turns an untrusted system (such as a home computer) into a trusted network client,” reads the official website.
The best thing about it is that no trace of the user activity is ever registered on the computer, which also means that no malware can affect the operating system. The developers say that any malware that might infect a computer can only run within a session, so, in theory, a user can improve the system's security by rebooting between sessions.
A number of very important changes and updates have been implemented. For example, Linux Kernel has been updated to version 3.10.22 (not the latest build, but it's new enough), USB interface libraries libusbx has been updated to version 1.0.16, libusb-compat has been updated to version 0.1.5, and PCSC-Lite has been updated to version 1.8.10 (CCID 1.4.14).
Also, the desktop is now using Xfce, numerous user experience utilities have been added, a number of Browser Bookmark updates have been added, FreeRDP has been updated to version 1.1, the VMware View Client has been updated to version 2.2, Mozilla Firefox has been updated to version24.3.0 ESR, Adobe Flash Player has been updated to version 188.8.131.526, OpenSSL has been updated to version 1.0.0l/0.9.8y, and LibreOffice has been updated to version 4.1.5.
A complete backlog of improvements and fixes can be found in the official changelog. Download Lightweight Portable Security (LPS) 1.5.0