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NSF funding creation of secure new OS

Windows, Mac OS and even Linux don't quite cut it when it comes to security in the eyes of University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, who are building an operating system from scratch designed to safeguard computers and applications.
The researchers have now been awarded a $1.15 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build the Ethos OS in an attempt to foil botnets and other security threats. Ethos has been in the works for a few years, with the idea emerging from a 2006 panel on botnets.

"Today's computer operating systems are thoroughly penetrated and unfixable," says Jon Solworth, associate professor of computer science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in a statement. "Every year we spend more and more on the problem, but every year the problem gets worse because we're working at the edges instead of at the heart of the problem."

Solworth is working with colleague Daniel Bernstein, research professor of computer science and a cryptography expert, whose job is to try cracking the Ethos OS, which runs on virtual machines. The idea is to build an OS that can free up application developers to focus on their apps, not security.

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