Rust has had a busy time taking over operating systems. Last year was Android, and this year the Linux kernel. Now Google is working on a new operating system focused on embedded systems written in Rust KataOS.
What is KataOS?
So, what is KataOS, and can it be your next desktop OS?
Probably not; the main focus of KataOS will be embedded systems, especially those that use machine learning.
Applications think that’s more speaker at home, and you used to turn on the lights or control the air conditioning.
These speakers process voice commands in raw audio data and use pattern recognition to determine what words are spoken and activate Smart Home devices based on that input or think of a self-driving car. Which records its surroundings, uses pattern recognition to make out obstacles and Road markings, and steers itself accordingly.
More and more devices are being powered by embedded machine learning, also known as tinyML. These devices collect and process everything from Smart Homes to self-driving cars with all the sensitive data.
They need to be secure from Attack. The last thing you want is your malware-infected smart fridge spying on your unhealthy eating habits and relaying that data to a malicious actor.
This is becoming common, and there were 1.5 billion attacks on Smart Home devices in the first half of 2021.
Even a smart light bulb can become a vulnerable endpoint allowing attackers to hack into a home network and steal sensitive data. Internet-connected devices are also vulnerable to malware that enables them to be remotely controlled and used to create trouble.
In 2016, attackers used malware to control an estimated 100 000 Internet-connected devices and launched a DDOS attack against a large DNS provider, taking down major websites in the US and Europe for hours.
If you want to learn about DDOS attacks and about Ethical hacking and how to become an Ethical hacker, then you can read this article: What is Ethical Hacking? How to become and full guided Roadmap
It’s not hard to imagine how self-driving cars can be similarly commandeered to cause significant disruption or even loss of life.
The Idea Beghind KataOS?
The idea behind KatoOS is that these critical systems need to be secure from Attack. Beyond doubt, the team at Google research thinks that security for embedded devices is an afterthought today and wants these devices to run on an operating system that is completely secure from malicious software.
Why KataOS is So Secure?
KataOS is special because you can prove mathematically that it is logically impossible for applications to breach the os’s security safeguards.
How is this possible?
KataOS is built on top of scl4, a general-purpose microkernel that is mathematically proven to be secure without compromising on performance. This is achieved by providing isolation between applications running on the machine so that a breach in one part of the system won’t affect more critical parts of the system.
A project sponsored by the US Department of Defense has actually used scl4 to protect an autonomous helicopter from cyber-attacks.
Another way KatoOS achieves a high level of security is by being written in Rust operating systems used to be written exclusively in low-level languages like C and C plus, which provide developer control over memory allocation.
While this is necessary for developers working with something like an OS, it enables them to shoot themselves and many, many users in the foot.
Rust is a systems language. But with high-level features that eliminate an entire class of memory bugs that have been blamed for 70% of all security bugs at Microsoft.
If you need to write both performant and secure software as KataOS aims to, you would write it in Rust.
Note that the team behind KataOS has open-sourced a Rust scl4 framework so if you are building your own Super secure operating system. You can give it a go, of course. Security requires an approach that spans the whole system, not just the OS.
A secure hardware platform matters too, as well as the humans using the system that said Internet-connected devices are often produced quickly without much regard for security, and these devices, are used even by the least technical people.
KataOS is designed to be secure are under reasonable use. Even by users that are not technically proficient. It’s a big step forward for security. KataOS is also an interesting use case for Rust.
Rust is uniquely positioned for KataOS’s security requirements. This is a powerful Testament to Rust’s potential as a Safe Systems language and to its exciting future.
Hope this article was helpful to you, if you still want to know more about Google’s new KataOS, You can visit here: Announcing KataOS and Sparrow
What is KataOS?
KataOS is a new operating system focused on embedded systems written in Rust. KataOS’ main targets are security and privacy protection, working with open-source technologies that were created just for that.
Which Devices Support KataOS?
As we discussed, KataOS mainly Focused on embedded systems. So it will support embedded system devices