Maybe the fact that the entire article is based on dubious statements by one guy, who also seems dubious, should have been mentioned at the beginning of the article instead of at the end? But of course, then Ars would not have been able to get a piece of the cyber pie!
Coleman warned that the Chinese are hardening their technical infrastructure and using new technologies that are believed to be more resistant to infiltration. He cited Kylin, an operating system that is allegedly unique and not based on mainstream platforms.
“This race was intensified when China created Kylin, their own hardened server operating system and began to convert their systems back in 2007,” he said. “This action also made our offensive cyber capabilities ineffective against them given the cyber weapons were designed to be used against Linux, UNIX and Windows. Refer to our report – RED SOS.”
This statement was widely reported by the press, but much of the coverage (and Coleman himself) appears to be of dubious accuracy. Kylin is not a new top-secret operating system, it’s a publicly available FreeBSD derivative that was created by academics for research purposes with funding from the Chinese government. Contrary to Coleman’s assertion that it is immune to cyber weapons designed to target Linux and UNIX, Kylin is actually designed to comply with UNIX standards and has a Linux binary compatibility layer. Certain aspects of Kylin’s design are documented in mainstream computing journals like IEEE. Its hardening features include filesystem encryption and access control frameworks. In fact, its security features appear to be roughly equivalent with those of the average commercial Linux distribution.
Coleman’s mischaracterization of Kylin raises questions about his agenda. He references his own studies for virtually every major statement that is included in his presentation, but not all of these studiesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âsuch as the one about KylinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Âare publicly available. There is no way to verify his facts or determine if his policy recommendations are based on sound principles.