New KNOS Operating System released by Kevin and Nancy

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Kevin McAleavey, Mar 30, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Posts:
    376
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Greetings, all!

    You might remember us? Kevin and Nancy, known for our NSClean, IEClean and BOClean software over the years? We're back again with "The KNOS Project" and we've just released a personal-use version of our complete operating system and desktop environment called KNOS. KNOS is designed for ordinary computer users who simply want an operating system that cannot be infected and works reliably without any effort or technical expertise on their part. With KNOS, people can surf wherever they want without worries about security or privacy or maintaining their computer. KNOS is the perfect environment for travel, letting kids surf or even using public computers since KNOS can be used anywhere, and it's completely stand-alone in its unique and secure design. KNOS just works. Pop it in and use it right away. Anywhere.

    KNOS is based on the BSD operating system (not Linux) and requires no installation, configuration or setup. It does not replace or interfere with the existing operating system and doesn't write to the existing hard disk. It comes with a complete set of applications and features that you would expect on any regular machine. KNOS is delivered on a DVD or you can burn your own, and from the KNOS disk you can even install KNOS on a USB memory stick and boot from that if you wish. This allows you to take KNOS anywhere and use it on other machines. Just pop KNOS into the machine and use it *instead* of your regular operating system for complete safety on the internet. When you're done, just turn it off and KNOS leaves no trace that it was ever used, and the machine is never touched in any way. A one year subscription with updates and upgrade replacements is just $34.95.

    Recent story about us in a report about Cloud Computing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAUpRTVta78 (can't seem to get the url to "stick here")

    If you'd like to know more about KNOS and how it can help restore some sanity, come visit our site: http://www.knosproject.com

    ---

    (I wasn't quite sure of where to put this since the "Unix" board seems to be only about Linux, and we're not Linux, so hopefully this is the right place)
     
  2. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    Posts:
    5,828
    Location:
    Last Breath Farm
    KNOS screenshots would be neat. :)

    On 2nd thought, I guess there are plenty of them here.
     
  3. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Posts:
    2,959
    Location:
    Internet
    Hi! Kevin! :thumb:
    You brought back good memories! (BOClean).
     
  4. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Posts:
    6,429
    Thank you for that link :thumb:, I wasn't able to find some screenies myself.
     
  5. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Posts:
    376
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Well ... as long as you caught me on my way out, here's a fresh one. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Posts:
    376
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Thanks! I think we've outdone ourselves here, completely eliminating the need for security software and all. We recognized that the battle was lost back in 2007, all I can say is wowsers as to how bad it's gotten in the world of Windows.

    Kind of sad that what BOClean had in its engine and design never made it into what we got bought for. Even sadder what happened to our former customers and us as well.
     
  7. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Posts:
    6,429
    I really think this OS have the potential to become something as big as Linux, at least. But I really don't like the name "KNOS", sounds more like a gaming console to me. Is KNOS=Kevin Nancy Operating system?

    I wish you Kevin and Nancy the best of luck with this OS and keep us @Wilders updated :thumb:
     
  8. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Posts:
    6,429
    I understand.
    I delete my post, and you can post the new requirements in this thread when you got them updated, it's easier that way.
     
  9. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Posts:
    376
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Here we go with a replacement. Nancy will see to it that the page is changed later, but since people will want to know, here's my rewrite of it:

    Thanks for helping me SPOT that! :)
     
  10. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Posts:
    4,048
    Location:
    SouthCentral PA
    Indeed! I still miss that flashing vacuum cleaner.

    Good luck Kevin with this new Operating System. As soon as I can find some free time, PLAY TIME! :cool:

    Acadia
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  11. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Posts:
    5,121
    Location:
    USA
    Can you say more about what makes this OS impervious to infection? In terms of security how is it different/better than booting a version of Linux from an optical disk?
     
  12. pidbo

    pidbo Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2006
    Posts:
    198
    Congratulations to Kevin and Nancy on the new operating system.
    Do you provide a lifetime licence?
    I don't really like the mention of "cloud" and "service", that makes me feel uncomfortable, will I have to pay again and again like rentware/leaseware and not have full control/ownership from my pc? I prefer to be the director of my own affairs and that the central repository for my important stuff is essentially my pc.
    Maybe I've not grasped the concept of the "cloud" but I've noticed over the last number of years is that there seems to be a concerted effort being made (by business/government, money/power monsters etc) to disempower/exploit the individual. Hardware that by bad design needs constantly upgrading, software that you never really own and has to be re-"bought", your important life matters hijacked "out there" "Face Space" ""Oogle" profiling and milking every detail of your life. Terms and conditions changing all the time in these organisations to leave users in a state of complete bemusement and impotence. Internet users have been mauled and raped, exploited time and time again and a breath of fresh air is needed.
     
  13. dw426

    dw426 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Posts:
    5,543
    @Pidbo:The "cloud" reference, if I read the website correctly, is a reference to cloud customers, not necessarily meant as the OS itself being a cloud OS.

    My questions are, for once, of course, what does make this "impervious to infection?" What does it allow/not allow to be able to say this? Nothing, ever, is 100% secure (I really hate marketing something as foolproof, but, that's marketing for you). Just because it doesn't write to disk doesn't make it impervious to infection, so, I'd like more information, please (perhaps being BSD makes it so? Even then, it's still not 100%). To me, so far, and I'm not trying to "poo-poo" the product at all, it sounds like another VM.
     
  14. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Posts:
    1,988
    Location:
    iAnywhere
    How well does it support dual monitors?
    I plug my laptop into my 32" big screen when at home.

    P.S. There is some type of issue posting Youtube links for financial gain or security. Clickthrough?
    The Mods would be able to answer in detail if you ask them.
     
  15. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Posts:
    3,187
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Hello K & N :)
    So, good to go..

    List of apps ?
    No commit/save changes pathway ?
    Boot in a VM ok ??
    USB boot and save changes ?

    What extensions for FF: eg scripting, AdBlockers, tab mgt ?

    trial ?
    Am I making sense ??

    regards.

    Hey mods >>> "All Things Unix" ??
     
  16. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Posts:
    2,336
    Very good question.

    I want to know what are the 'must-have' features of this OS that separate it from the myriad of free live Linux distros?
     
  17. hayc59

    hayc59 Updates Team

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Posts:
    2,128
    Location:
    R.I.P. Roger(roddy32)
    Way to go Kevin and Nancy and good luck!! :cool:
     
  18. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Posts:
    6,852
    I share your feelings, one of the sentences in there sounds perfectly like something Steve Jobs once said.
     
  19. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Posts:
    1,413
    You made a Linux distro. Pardon the bluntness, but... so?
     
  20. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Posts:
    2,642
    Location:
    Cymru
    KNOS is based on BSD.
     
  21. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Posts:
    1,413
    I stand corrected.

    But still... so?
     
  22. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Posts:
    6,012
    Location:
    on my zx10-r
    from the knos page:

    Also, unlike Linux distributions, we do not ever write to the hard disk on the system it is booted on. No swap files, no ability for a virus to break out of Linux and write to the Windows disk. Most Linux distros will write a swap file and there have been a few incidents involving stuff jumping out of the browser and onto the hard disk. Can't happen with ours.

    i do not use this myself just to note. i have not even had time to test it yet.
     
  23. Sadeghi85

    Sadeghi85 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Posts:
    747
    So how is that different from a Linux live cd? They don't mount Windows partitions by default and no swap file either, less RAM requirement too.
     
  24. InfinityAz

    InfinityAz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Posts:
    828
    Location:
    Arizona
    A few incidents out of how many millions of uses of linux boot cds?

    I'm guessing the frequency is statistically insignificant and will happily use existing and free distros without much worry of infecting my systems.
     
  25. Kevin McAleavey

    Kevin McAleavey Security Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2003
    Posts:
    376
    Location:
    Upstate New York
    Hello once again. Wow ... looks like I've caused a firestorm over the security claims, so let me try to explain what I can as to why we're saying what we are and what it means. In Linux distributions, the kernel driver for NTFS (Windows file system) does mount hard drives found on the system in read/write mode. Permissions on those mounts can be set to read-only, but the kernel itself is still able to perform a write. That means that it is possible to write to a Windows hard disk simply because the kernel allows writes to occur. In KNOS, there is no write capability in our NTFS file system component although we can provide a custom build of KNOS if there is a desire to do so. In our retail version however, access to NTFS is read-only with no mechanism available to perform a write operation either intentionally or as the result of a security breach.

    As for KNOS' own security, the obvious one is that from a read-only media such as its DVD, writes to the file system are impossible but there are additional security measures as well beyond that. While I'm not at liberty to go into the proprietary measures in detail, an overview of it is that all of KNOS' kernel functions and userland applications are compressed into special read-only modules containing all of KNOS' code. These cannot be modified or written to, and if modified in any way (perhaps with a sector editor) they will cause a load failure because they no longer will match their embedded hashes within those compressed modules any longer. There are numerous other technological protections, but they are proprietary. As a result though, a "virus," a "trojan," or even a rooting is completely unable to "stick" to the system, even if it is run from a bootable USB stick. KNOS can only read in the code we froze in place in a specific build, and no other. This is why we ship dedicated apps and libraries in KNOS, because those can neither be added to or modified either as a result of this design.

    In its default design, KNOS does not store configuration information or user settings, and each time the browser is closed, KNOS automatically wipes all browser content so that when the browser is reopened, all previous session information except cookies (saved only for convenience, they can be added to the session wipe in the browser if desired too) is removed in a secure delete. And of course when KNOS is shut down, no information is retained at all. For those who do wish to save user preferences such as application settings, a mechanism is available to store those on an external USB stick and restore them to KNOS if desired but even there, executables are not stored to the archive should an end user choose to do so.

    In mounting and copying from an external drive or network, the kernel prevents access to files not generated within KNOS by automatically removing group and world permissions in both directions. BSD's kernel offers more elaborate and granular security features which we make extensive use of. In addition, access to Windows shares is also provided on a read-only basis with no write capabilities available. This protects other systems by requiring the transfer of data by means of USB sticks which can be checked for any Windows malware before being mounted on a Windows box. Further, if KNOS is burned to a bootable USB stick, KNOS will not permit data writes to that stick either. A second stick must be provided for file storage and transfers, again a part of our design to ensure security.

    Within reasonable limits, I can comment further, but I did not take my own claims for our capabilities and a very deliberate design lightly. We don't intend for KNOS to "compete" with Linux, it's intended for people who are not technically up to dealing with Linux or have tried Linux and already decided that it wasn't for them. The primary purpose of KNOS is portable use in untrusted environments and corporate use, not as a replacement for your usual operating system. Hope this helps to answer some of the questions somewhat ...
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.