Trusted Extensions software extends the Solaris OS. The following list provides an overview. For a quick reference, see Appendix A, Quick Reference to Trusted Extensions Administration.
Trusted Extensions controls access to data with special security tags that are called labels. Labels provide mandatory access control (MAC). MAC protection is in addition to UNIX file permissions, or discretionary access control (DAC). Labels are directly assigned to users, zones, devices, windows, and network endpoints. Labels are implicitly assigned to processes, files, and other system objects.
MAC cannot be overridden by regular users. Trusted Extensions requires regular users to operate in labeled zones. By default, no users or processes in labeled zones can override MAC.
As in the Solaris OS, the ability to override security policy can be assigned to specific processes or users when MAC can be overridden. For example, users can be authorized to change the label of a file. Such an action upgrades or downgrades the sensitivity of the information in that file.
Trusted Extensions adds to existing configuration files and commands. For example, Trusted Extensions adds audit events, authorizations, privileges, and rights profiles.
Some features that are optional on a Solaris system are required on a Trusted Extensions system. For example, zones and roles are required on a system that is configured with Trusted Extensions.
Some features that are optional on a Solaris system are recommended on a Trusted Extensions system. For example, in Trusted Extensions the root user should be turned into the root role.
Trusted Extensions can change the default behavior of the Solaris OS. For example, on a system that is configured with Trusted Extensions, auditing is enabled by default. In addition, device allocation is required.
Trusted Extensions can narrow the options that are available in the Solaris OS. For example, on a system that is configured with Trusted Extensions, the NIS+ naming service is not supported. Also, in Trusted Extensions, all zones are labeled zones. Unlike the Solaris OS, labeled zones must use the same pool of user IDs and group IDs. Additionally, in Trusted Extensions, labeled zones can share one IP address.
Trusted Extensions provides trusted versions of two desktops. To work in a labeled environment, desktop users of Trusted Extensions must use one of these desktops:
Solaris Trusted Extensions (CDE) – Is the trusted version of Common Desktop Environment (CDE). The name can be shortened to Trusted CDE.
Solaris Trusted Extensions (JDS) – Is the trusted version of Java Desktop System, Release number. The name can be shortened to Trusted JDS.
Trusted Extensions provides additional graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and command line interfaces (CLIs). For example, Trusted Extensions provides the Device Allocation Manager to administer devices. In addition, the updatehome command is used to place startup files in an regular user's home directory at every label.
Trusted Extensions requires the use of particular GUIs for administration. For example, on a system that is configured with Trusted Extensions, the Solaris Management Console is used to administer users, roles, and the network. Similarly, in Trusted CDE, the Admin Editor is used to edit system files.
Trusted Extensions limits what users can see. For example, a device that cannot be allocated by a user cannot be seen by that user.
Trusted Extensions limits users' desktop options. For example, users are allowed a limited time of workstation inactivity before the screen locks.