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Sophos Releases Sandboxie in Open Source

Sophos this week announced that the source code of isolation tool Sandboxie is now publicly available.

Sandboxie was initially developed by Ronen Tzur, who sold it to Invincea in 2013. The sandbox-based isolation program became part of Sophos’ portfolio in 2017, after the cybersecurity solutions provider acquired Invincea.

In September last year, Sophos made Sandboxie free, while also announcing that it was transitioning the tool to open source. The company never considered Sandboxie as an important component of its business and even considered completely discontinuing it.

“Sophos is proud to announce the release of the Sandboxie source code to the community, meaning we are finally an open source tool! We’re excited to give the code to the community,” the company announced on its forums.

The open-source availability of Sandboxie is expected to “spawn a fresh wave of ideas and use cases,” Sophos says.

The company also says that it is engaging with members of the community who could take over the project and make the Sandboxie source code available through an open source project to the community.

No new version of Sandboxie will be released from Sophos, but the latest version remains available on a dedicated website, with support for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. No updates will be released for the program either.

“All restricted features have been made completely free in this version. Any further improvements to Sandboxie will need to be made through the open source community,” the company notes.

Additionally, the security solutions provider announced that it would close the Sophos community Sandboxie forum on June 1, 2020. The licensing server will be closed on that date as well, since the open source version has been stripped of all code that would check the license server.

As the community embraces the Sandboxie source code, transitioning it to an open source project, the company will gradually wind down the Sandboxie website. It expects to completely close the site during the fall of 2020.

The source code was released under the GPL v3 license. To use Sandboxie, users need to download and compile the code, sign the generated binaries, and create the installer (although optional, this is useful for tasks like installing the service and driver, Sophos notes).

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