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Fedora is a set of projects, sponsored by Red Hat and guided by the Fedora Project Board. These projects are developed by a large community of people who strive to provide and maintain the very best in free, open source software and standards.
The Fedora Project Board is a board of directors, made up of Red Hat and community members, that continues to develop its governance model. More announcements are coming in the months ahead as key milestones are reached.
Fedora Core is built to provide choice. It includes the latest versions of many software packages, including both GNOME and KDE desktop environments. Fedora Extras, a repository built entirely by volunteers, provides thousands more packages, and is enabled for use by default.
Fedora is the thought and action leader in many cutting-edge Linux security initiatives. The following security features were developed by Fedora engineers. Because all of these security features have been pushed upstream, they are available to all Linux distributions who choose to take advantage of them.
Exec-Shield -- Exec-Shield attempts to flag data memory as non-executable and program memory as non-writeable. It also randomizes the addresses here the parts of the running program are located. This blocks most buffer overflows because system crackers cannot predict where pieces of the executable will be in memory. Exec-Shield is for x86 systems.
Position Independent Executables (PIE) -- Just as Exec-Shield allows for data memory to be moved to random locations, PIE allows a programmer to make the executable load at a different memory address each time it starts. Attackers cannot predict where the application will start, making it very hard or impossible to exploit.
ELF (Executable and Linkable Format) Data Hardening -- These are changes to the file components that protect the structure of the file itself.
SELinux -- SELinux was developed in partnership with the NSA and developers from projects such as Gentoo and Debian. Security Enhanced Linux protects users and processes by watching all actions on the system, from opening a file to using a socket. Users may write their own SELinux security policies according to their risk tolerance. By default, Fedora runs a targeted security policy that protects network daemons that have a higher chance of being attacked. If compromised, these programs are extremely limited in the damage they can do, even if the root account is cracked.
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