WindRiver demos MILS Platform 2.0 Applications at MILCOM 2008

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Device Software Optimization (DSO) specialist WindRiver introduced at MILCOM 2008 the latest multilevel secure (MLS) approach utilizing an early access version of the company’s upcoming VxWorks MILS Platform 2.0. The MILS (multiple independent levels of security) infrastructure enables development of multi-level secure systems that process classified data at all levels simultaneously, including downgraders, guards, and other cross-domain applications.


“The high performance and mature functionality of VxWorks MILS Platform 2.0 will be based on six years of customer experience with our time- and space-partitioning operating system for avionics, VxWorks 653 for complex ARINC 653 Integrated Modular Avionics systems, in use on over 100 programs worldwide,” said Marc Brown, vice president of VxWorks Marketing at Wind River. He added that VxWorks MILS Platform 2.0 will introduce a robust operating system foundation and an award-winning development environment to build these MILS-based systems. The platform will also offer a single development environment for customers creating complex defense and aerospace systems that require extremely high performance and a high level of security assurance.

Raytheon is currently evaluating Wind River’s MILS offering. The two companies are teaming on the development of this emerging technology. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are also evaluating the system. Darrel Price, software engineer at Boeing hopes that “Wind River’s VxWorks MILS Platform will offer us significant advantages in terms of time to deployment and also reduces later cost-of-change.” He anticipates that when the new VxWorks MILS Platform is introduced it will enable multiple teams to work in parallel, building multi-level secure systems running multiple applications, with many layers of security all on a single processor. Ben Calloni, Fellow, Software Security, at Lockheed Martin Corporation agrees that the MILS architecture will dramatically reduce cost for the multi-level secure systems.

The VxWorks MILS Platform 2.0 will include:

  • VxWorks MILS separation kernel, developed to conform to the NIAP-validated U.S. Government Protection Profile for Separation Kernels in Environments Requiring High Robustness, Version 1.03
  • Direct support for high-assurance customer applications such as guards and downgraders in partitions through Wind River High-Assurance Environment
  • Wind River VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) in partitions, permitting direct porting of existing VxWorks applications
  • Wind River industry-specific networking technology stacks including IPv4, UDP, and TCP
  • An extensive offering of targeted drivers and partner middleware
  • Wind River Workbench, the leading Eclipse-based development suite.
    Evaluation of VxWorks MILS Platform is in progress to Evaluation Assurance Level 6+ / High Robustness under the international Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation.