Abstract to which it can communicate with the

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are a very important part of our lives and the major reason why they have been
such a success is because of the excellent graphical operating systems that run
on these powerful machines. As the computer hardware is becoming more and more
powerful, it is also vital to keep the software updated in order to utilize the
hardware of the system efficiently and make it faster and smarter. An operating
system (OS) is generally containing of software that operates computer hardware
resources and provides some basic services for computer programs. The operating
system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. In
simple word operating system acts as an intermediate between the user and
hardware. Traditional operating systems
concepts are almost unchanged, but experiments on operating systems by research
community call for new solutions. There are still many
challenges to Operating systems and in future there
will also be challenges to operating systems.


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An operating system is
a bunch of programs that monitors the hardware and software resources of a
computer. In the absence of operating system it is impossible to display text
and graphics on the monitor. The first objective of operating system is to
control the hardware of the system. The second objective is to provide an
interactive interface to the user and interpret commands due to which it can communicate
with the hardware. These hardware resources include processor memory and disk
space and so on. Operating system is also responsible for error handling
procedure and display an error notification while communicating with the

1: Operating System Position

operating system is generally responsible for following essential activities or

– Processor
Management The operating system is responsible for managing the work flow
of processor and monitors different task of processor.

– Memory
Management The operating also takes the responsibilities to manage the
memory of the system. It assigned the memory to different task and also takes
care for properly utilizing the memory of the system.

 – Storage
Management It also used to monitor storage networks and devices. Some other
major responsibility of operating system is Storage Management, Application
Interface, User Interface etc. 1

2: Role of an operating System

Computer technology has
made incredible progress in the roughly 60 years since the first general
purpose electronic computer was created. For the evolution of computers from
being just a scientific tool to being a necessity in every household the
operating systems that run on them have played a very vital role. Today we
don’t call a computer system by the manufacturer names we rather call a system
to be a Mac PC or a Windows PC, etc. Although the operating systems are
becoming more and more dynamic and classy yet there remains a lot of work to
make them utilize the full functionalities of the fast computer hardware of
today. Because of the crucial role of the operating system in the operation of
any computer systems, the security (or lack of security) of an operation system
will have fundamental impacts to the overall security of a computer system,
including the security of all applications running within the system. There are a
lot of challenges to operating systems that includes Syntactic faults, Semantic
faults, Service faults, Communication and interaction faults and exceptions.
Security has been and still remains a major concern for operating system
developers and users alike. Informally speaking, security is, keeping
unauthorized entities from doing things you don’t want them to do. 2

Operating system
protection involves protection against unauthorized users as well as protection
of file systems. File permissions are based on user identity, which in turn are
based on user identity, which in turn are based on authentication. Hence
authentication of users has to be highly secure such that any unauthorized user
doesn’t hack in along with proper mechanism to let in genuine users. Various
authentication mechanisms have been and are being used in operating systems,
like the old-fashioned password authentication, where a plaintext password is
stored. This mechanism has been proven to be easily hack able, so another
technique that provides an alternative is Hashed Passwords. Security also refers to providing a
protection system to computer system resources such as CPU, memory, disk,
software programs and most importantly data/information stored in the computer
system. If a computer program is run by an unauthorized user, then he/she may
cause severe damage to computer or data stored in it. So a computer system must
be protected against unauthorized access, malicious access to system memory,
viruses, worms etc. When talking about operating system security,
authentication attacks will make the bottom of priority list. The major
problems are attacks like, Trojan Horses, Login spoofing and Buggy Software.
Trojan Horses are basically programs that are disguised programs, meant to harm
the system and its resources. Someone may be tricked into running a program
that may adversely affect that user; his system or data. Although Linux, UNIX
and other Unix-like operating systems are generally regarded as very protected,
yet they are not immune to computer viruses. For example, consider a virus
program written in C, which goes on creating new files and allocating space in
an infinite loop! Will Linux be safe in that case? Hence viruses are a threat
to all operating systems. Although it must be noted that there has not yet been
a widespread linux malware (malware as in any malicious software) threat of the
type that Microsoft Windows software face; this is mostly because of the
following reasons:

• The user base of the
Linux operating system is smaller compared to Windows.

• The malwares’ lack
root access.

• Fast updates for most
Linux vulnerabilities 3

Operating system’s processes and kernel do the designated task as
instructed. If a user program made these process do malicious tasks, then it is
known as Program Threats. One of the common example of program
threat is a program installed in a computer which can store and send user
credentials via network to some hacker. Following is the list of some
well-known program threats.

Horse ? Such program
traps user login credentials and stores them to send to malicious user who can
later on login to computer and can access system resources.

Trap Door ? If a program which is designed to work as required,
have a security hole in its code and perform illegal action without knowledge
of user then it is called to have a trap door.

Logic Bomb ? Logic bomb is a situation when a program misbehaves
only when certain conditions met otherwise it works as a genuine program. It is
harder to detect.

Virus ? Virus as name suggest can replicate themselves on
computer system. They are highly dangerous and can modify/delete user files, crash
systems. A virus is generally a small code embedded in a program. As user
accesses the program, the virus starts getting embedded in other files/
programs and can make system unusable for user.

System threat refers to misuse of system services and
network connections to put user in trouble. System threats can be used to
launch program threats on a complete network called as program attack. System
threats create such an environment that operating system resources/ user files
are misused. Following is the list of some well-known system threats.

Worm ? Worm is a process which can choked down a system
performance by using system resources to extreme levels. A Worm process
generates its multiple copies where each copy uses system resources, prevents
all other processes to get required resources. Worm processes can even shut
down an entire network.

Port Scanning ? Port scanning is a mechanism or means by which a
hacker can detects system vulnerabilities to make an attack on the system.

Denial of Service ? Denial of service attacks normally prevents user to
make legitimate use of the system. For example, a user may not be able to use
internet if denial of service attacks browser’s content settings. 5

From the very
beginning operating systems lies in the core of computer science. Therefore, if
someone ask is there some problem/issue still open, and if the answer is in
‘yes’ then someone can ask why 50 or more years have not been enough for
solving all the relevant issues. It  is clear
that Operating systems have evolved a lot during past 50 years. Various Changes in
operational requirements have changed that
is why we need to reconsider the fundamentals of operating systems. The needs
of these reconsiderations have their roots in the fundamental changes in usage
patterns. There are a lot of challenges to operating systems that includes
Syntactic faults, Semantic faults, Service faults, Communication and
interaction faults and exceptions. In this paper our focus is on the security
of operating systems. Operating systems may use the
following mechanisms to avoid attacks of this type:

• Operating Systems can provide
sandboxes: Sandboxes are environments where a program can execute but should
not affect the rest of the machine.

• The trick here is, permitting
limited interaction with outside while still providing the full functionality
of the operating system. Or in other words the file system can be kept out of
unauthorized access and 3rd Party software may be allowed minimum access to

Race conditions can also be a
critical security issue. To illustrate such a situation, consider a privileged
program that checks if a file is readable and then tries to open it as root.
The attacker passes it a symbolic link, in the interval between the two
operations; the attacker removes the link and replaces it with a link to a
protected file. This would give him direct access to the protected file area
and into the system. So here an attacker takes advantage of the race condition
between two operations to get access into the protected area of the operating
system. The only way to overcome such attacks is to provide only atomic
operations to access files and strict restrictions on their access by other
users other than root.

Considering the above discussion the
following gives a brief idea about the challenges that need to be improved for
enhancing the performance of the operating system.

 – To develop a convenient and secure operating system
that should provide an interface to write secure applications.

– Construct an adaptable
permission model. The existing models are too simple and limited in nature.

– The issue here is that,
no commercial operating system is secure enough.

– There will always be
buggy code, but the trick is to construct an application and an operating
system that will basically hamper attacks and will save the principal assets of
the system.

– To make the operating
system reliable and fault tolerance in nature is also an biggest challenge and
different techniques and approaches are developed to overcome from this

Security is not only an issue with
the operating systems in desktops and laptops; the operating systems of tablets
and cell-phones also have the same security issues but these issues in phones
are the most critical because if an attacker gets into the operating system of
a phone, the attacker may get access to the personal data (viz. contacts,
messages, etc) of the victim. And moreover the user base of these smaller
devices like smart-phones and tablets in increasing at an alarming rate and the
amount of data sharing between these devices is far more than that between
computers. 6


operating systems combination of personal computer and managing all hardware
and optimizes. Many Mobile operating systems can be seen in the market but two
famous mobile systems now days are iPhone Operating System (iOS) and Android.

derived from OS X that share by darwing foundation. iOS mainly use for the
iPhone and iPad manufactured by Apple.

Operating System is an open source
and source code release under Apache license by Google. The OS is a linux based
and the application software running on an application framework which includes
Java compatible libraries based on Apache Harmony. Mobile Security Requirements:

Here we are discussing 5 security requirements of
mobile operating system which are:

Application Sandboxing is mechanism for program to run separately, it is
uses to limit the app boundary. When an app is build the permissions are
assigned which cannot changed dynamically on run time by application or
operating system kernel. Resources can be shared but these apps will never go
beyond their defined limits which are declared at startup. In iOS all
application shares same sandbox but in Android every application has its own

Encryption is
the most effective method to secure data. Encryption is a technique to convert
data into a secret code so data can be secure for this purpose encryption
algorithm is made and applied to data. You must have a secrete key or password
to decrypt data which is an encrypted file. When encryption is not applied to
text it is simple plain text and when encryption is applied to data is is
called as cipher text. Encryption introduced to android in Android 3.0
Honeycomb version, first encryption method for Android is device encryption API
which was released in Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. Android applies encryption on
disk level. Encryption is also applied to iOS which was introduced in iPhone
3GS version.

Memory randomization is a process where the memory application shared
library and other in a device is located randomly, this technique is important
to avoid attack on the memory of running application from any malicious code or
virus. This technique is applied in iOS 4.3 version and later while in Android
its applied in Jelly Bean 4.1.1 and later versions.

Built-in Antivirus
In general 3 there are 3 types of popular malware that affects mobile such as
Virus, Spyware and Trojan. A virus is a malicious code which usually transmitted
through email. Spyware is a program which collects the information about users
without letting them know about it. Trojan is a desirable function but actually
the purpose of the Trojan is malicious. Android and iOS both were introduced
with built-in antivirus features to avoid viruses, spyware, and Trojans.
Thousands of application can be downloaded from Google play safely because
antivirus feature is not on android device but on Google Play. It means any app
downloaded except from Google Play can be very risky. We can download anti
virus’s applications from Google Play to avoid popular malware that affects our
operating system. In iOS there is not need of antivirus because there is no
room for virus to get into the system. In iOS there is only one place to
download application into the system that is App store, where every application
is checked rigorously to make sure that it does not contain any kind of
malicious code.

Data Storage Format Disk Storage is a place where all the data is stored in build in
storage or external storage. It is important to secure the storage to make sure
your data is secured from any unwanted code. Commonly device has both internal
and external storage. In Android the data can be store in both storages which
in internal and external. Android implements standard crypto libraries to
secure storage but it is as efficient as a password is applied. With the root
access any unwanted code can access the files without any restriction and can
spread malware. While in iOS devices does not have external storage or memory
but built-in storage. This requires permission to access the data. Data
protection APIs in iOS are combined with passphrase which provide an additional
layer of data protection. So iOS storage will be more secure than Android and
make the application difficult to access the data from internal storage. 7


desktop operating system can be seen in market but here we are going to discuss
two most famous and in most use desktop operating system which are Windows and
Mac. Windows Microsoft windows are the most popular and most used operating
system in the world. It’s a graphical series of operating system of Microsoft.
Microsoft Windows is a closed source operating system

Windows Security

the Microsoft windows is the most used operating system it has more threats
than other operating system as well. In 2005 over 1000 new viruses and worms
were seen in six months duration, and 11000 malicious programs, viruses,
Trojans, back-doors and exploits were written for windows. Microsoft windows
have released a lot versions and every operating system has some security


MAC OS is second most
popular and widely used operating system which share 6% of desktop operating
system market share. It is UNIX based graphical user interface operating system
made only for MAC computers by Apple Inc.


MAC is second most
popular operating system, so there are not too many viruses for MAC. But it
doesn’t mean MAC doesn’t need security. Recently a Trojan name variously Mac
Protector, Mac Defender and Mac Guard showed on Apple machines, a window
claiming to be the Apple Security Center pops up and indicate that virus has
been found on this computer, and then it prompts to user to download Mac
Protector and this software intended to steal credit card information.


In Linux security
system has two parts:

1. Authentication

2. Access control

Some security issues
regarding Linux operating system Local Security Local users create a lot of
problems for system. It is bad policy to provide accounts to people you don’t
know or for whom you have no contact information. It is better to follow some
rules of thumb when offering access to your Linux machine.


Most Linux distributions
come with ‘password’ programs that do not allow you to set a password that can
be easily guessed. Thus, it is necessary to make sure that your password
program is up to date. Linux uses a one-way encryption algorithm known as DES
(Data Encryption Standard), which is used to encrypt your passwords. The
encrypted password is stored in /etc/passwd. When you try to log in, the
password you type again gets encrypted and is compared with the entry in the
file that stores your password. A match means you have entered the same
password and you are given access to the system. Shadow passwords are a means
of keeping your encrypted password information secret from the normal users.
Recent versions of both Red Hat and Debian Linux use shadow passwords by default.
Shadow passwords are saved in /etc/shadow and they can be read only by
privileged users. 8



Although operating systems have
advanced a lot, yet still there is a lot of things to cover in this domain. The
user awareness of technology is increasing so is there expectations. Hence
although operating systems have progressed a lot, yet still there is a lot of
ground to cover in this field. Operating systems research is a very vast field
and the reason for this is mostly because the hardware is becoming stronger and
faster by the day and hence there is a race for the operating systems to keep
up. The key issue of this paper is to describe the challenges and security
issues of different operating system. Optimization the performance of operating
system is a major concern in today’s date. Different researches are going on to
overcome from this challenge and enhance the performance of the operating



2 http://www.ijsrd.com/articles/IJSRDV4I110176.pdf












Categories: Management


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