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Google is funding Linux Kernel developers with a special focus on security

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To further bolster the security credentials of the Linux kernel, Google and the Linux Foundation have decided to fund two kernel developers to work exclusively on security-related developments.

The kernel developers, Gustavo Silva and Nathan Chancellor, are long-time kernel developers and have now been tasked to maintain and improve kernel security along with any associated initiatives.

“At Google, security is always top of mind and we understand the critical role it plays to the sustainability of open source software,” said Dan Lorenc, Staff Software Engineer, Google. “We’re honored to support the efforts of both Gustavo Silva and Nathan Chancellor as they work to enhance the security of the Linux kernel.”

Securing the ecosystem

While security has always been paramount to the Linux kernel, the Linux Foundation on its part has been stepping up efforts to help ensure it remains free of any vulnerabilities. 

Last year it bought together Microsoft, Github, Google, IBM, Red Hat, JPMorgan, and others to form the Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) to tackle the security challenges in the wider open source ecosystem.

The latest partnership with Google to fund kernel developers to work exclusively on ensuring the kernel’s security follows the recent open source contributor survey that highlighted the need for improving security in open source software, especially given its pervasive use in the industry.

“Funding Linux kernel security and development is a collaborative effort, supported by the world’s largest companies that depend on the Linux operating system,” note Google and the Linux Foundation in a joint release, adding that the latest move is the result of discussions in the Securing Critical Projects Working Group inside the OpenSSF.