German IT agency to release open source security suite

Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) is debuting several open source-based desktop and security applications.

Germany's Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) will present several new open source-based desktop and security applications on Wednesday at a local Linux event.

The applications include an e-mail encryption tool for Windows users, a security suite for the public and private sectors, and desktop systems for public administrations, BSI said Tuesday.

The GNU Privacy Guard for Windows (gpg4win) application is based on the free software GnuPG, designed to enable data encryption and easy integration with other applications, including Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook 2003. The software, available for free under terms of the GNU General Public License, can be used not only by public administrations and businesses but also by consumers.

The product is available for download at: http://www.gpg4win.de.

BSI's open source security suite (BOSS) allows public and private sector organizations to centrally monitor the security of their entire IT networks. The application is based largely on the open source scanner Nessus and the tool Security Local Auditing Daemon (SLAD), designed to perform local security checks against GNU/Linux systems.

The product is available for download at: http://www.bsi.bund.de/produkte/boss/index.htm#download.

As part of the government-funded Experiment with Open Source Software (ERPOSS) project, which aims to make open source software more easy to install and use by public administrations, BSI and Credative GmbH collaborated to make the ERPOSS4 desktop application. The application, based on the Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 operating system and KDE 3.3 graphic interface, includes OpenOffice, KMail with integrated virus and spam protection and the Mozilla Firefox browser, as well as a preconfigured personal firewall.

The product is available at: http://www.bsi.bund.de/produkte/erposs/index.htm.

Most of the information about the BSI products is in German only, but the agency points out that because of the input from international groups, some information is also available in English.

English-language information about BSI is available at: http://www.bsi.bund.de/english/index.htm.

The agency will present the open source applications at the LinuxTag conference and exhibition, which runs from May 3-6 in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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