TENS is a non-installable, bootable Linux distribution that enables a secure end node from trusted on most of the Intel-based computer before booting into the operating system.
For more security
Trusted End Note security or TENS does not require hard drive to be mounted and neither an installer. However, TENS cannot be used as a pen-testing distro for admins for securing their network, rather it is a live desktop Linux distribution that allows the users to up the security level which is absent in the standard desktop most of the times. Simply put, TENS can come in handy where the network security is not very strong or where the data which we are considering is questionable. Further, TENS would also come in handy when someone needs to submit sensitive data but the standard desktop operating system is absent.
Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate TENS was deployed as the Anti-Tamper Software Protection Initiative in 2001. Today, there are different versions of TENS. Although, every addition is initially developed for the US Department of Defense, the public versions of the same are also available.
Today, we would talk about the TENS Public Deluxe Edition and the live platform. Firstly, let’s understand the configuration required to run this version of TENS.
• X86 processor that supports the Physical Address Extensions
• 1 GB RAM
• Capability to boot from USB or CD/DVD
• Wired, Wireless or cellular broadband
• A CAC/PIV along with a USB CCID – compliant smart card reader with updated firmware
• Networked or a local USB-connected printer
After booting the live edition, a prompt would ask you to accept the EULA. It would read
Display User Agreement
Agree and Continue
Reject and Shutdown
Before hitting ‘Agree and continue’ make sure that you are not using TENS of a virtual machines as it would be incapable of sidestepping the threats on the host machines.
Once clicked ‘Agree and continue’, you would see the TENS Desktop interface. You can simply double click on Firefox or LibreOffice launcher to start working.
TENS also comes with the encryption wizard enabling the encryption and decryption of files with a user-friendly drag and drop interface. Further, it offers the option to keep the original file along with the encrypted file that would have the extension.wzd. This encrypted file can be send to anyone who has access to the TENS desktop. Further, from security point of view also, TENS comes out as a champion. The user simply needs to click on ‘Enable DNSCrypt’.