Reader supplied reviews for Trusted End Node Security
6.9from 8 review(s)
I have used this on an off for a couple of years.
Overall, I like the concept. It is an easy to use program that is aimed at particular need. That need of on line security and privacy is an area that is growing with each pirate story we read.
But the OS falls way short of its real goal if indeed the USAF has a goal for this.
First, there is no way to lock the computer when one leaves it unattended.
Is very, very difficult to spoof the mac address. That would be a nice feature too.
TOR will not run in the OS. I have tried. It would be nice if it did.
All of the settings are not saved from boot to boot. The OS boots clean every time. I like to really crimp the settings to make the browser, for instance, as secure as possible. It will not save boot marks. Everything has to be reset on the next boot and that is a real pain.
Nothing can be updated either. One has to wait for the next 'Official' release. That is a real shortcoming given how fast things can change on the Internet. A new release is usually months away.
Any communication with the USAF goes down the 'Memory Hole.'
Me thinks the USAF is very responsive to folks needs in the military who use this OS. Why they, the USAF, even bother to put a shadow of what this program could be on line. But it comes from the government. And it is about what a government OS would look and work like.
The upside is the USAF puts the open code out there. If some whizbang wanted to grab the code and 'run with it' this could be a great OS. If...
At the DoD description page they write it is only secure because it is a Live OS (if you got a malware it won't persist for the next boot). But that is it. No other additional security mentioned.
It has Adobe Flash Player installed and the Firefox with the default configuration...
It may be ok for the military guys so they have their own root certificates and commonly used software on a Live OS, but most people should stay away from this.
I like this OS, I do.
It has some nice features and on the whole it is useful and stable. But as a security release it has some serious short comings.
First and most glaring is that it doesn't have any way of saving settings from one boot to another. So one has to set up the system to your liking each and every time the system is started.
The system has no facility to change the mac address at will. Nor does it have a way to lock the system if one leave the system unattended for even a short time. That is a big issue with a lot of folks. Noscripts is disabled, if you can believe that, when the system boots. It would be helpful for the system to be able to run TOR too. TOR can be installed but TOR doesn't run. HTTPS is installed and started on boot but it is not set a 'tight' as it could be. Firefox preferences are not set as 'tight' as I would set them. Worse still, Firefox is not set to check for never check for updates. That is a big time security issue.
I believe all of those shortcomings could be coded into the OS it self with out any lots of security.
Another issue I have is the USAF delivers a new version of the OS whenever. And the USAF pretty much states that fact. If ones reviews the release history they will see I am correct.
Lastly and most endearing, if one emails the USAF a comment, suggestion, question, etc. about the OS one rarely, if ever, gets a response.
I think a rating of 8.4 is generous. I am doing a 7. TENS could be a startlingly good OS that would be very useful to a lot of folks. There is a need for such an OS like TENS. But TENS is a product from the government and...well, it is about as useful as most anything the government offers to folks.
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