BlackBerry 10 OS security yet to be approved by UK government
UK's Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) has classified the BlackBerry 10 operating system as not secure enough. This means BB10-running devices can't be used as by the UK government services.
BlackBerry's most loyal customers have always been governments and corporations, but with this ruling it seems the company's latest smartphones won't be welcomed right where BlackBerry is supposed to be the strongest.
This is not the end of course, BlackBerry promises to work on the operating system and clear out all the issues that made the CESG reject the BB10 for use by the British government.
The previous BB7.1 OS was secure enough to be classified as "restricted" by the same authority, which is only two levels below the top security level called... well, "secret". This classification was enough for the BB7.1 devices to be used for most government purposes. But since BB OS 10 is an entire revamp of the core OS, it's no wonder it differs from the previous generation.
We guess BlackBerry has a lot on its plate - unsatisfying sales, still limited apps, fierce competition and now this rejection for government usage. We are sure it will be resolved in the future, but is it going to be enough to stop the company's downhill journey? Samsung has already launched its SAFE lineup with special secured editions of the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III that already got a warm welcome from their business clients. The prospects are not looking good at all, BlackBerry.
Update: Both BlackBerry and CESG issued statements regarding the situation. As it turns out the issue is not that big and is due to the new CESG approval process. BlackBerry is going to resolve it (as we initially thought).
Here is the BlackBerry statement:
"We have a long-established relationship with CESG and we remain the only mobile solution approved for use at 'Restricted' when configured in accordance with CESG guidelines. This level of approval only comes following a process which is rigorous and absolutely necessary given the highly confidential nature of the communications being transmitted. The current re-structuring of this approval process, due to the Government Protective Marking Scheme review and the new CESG Commercial Product Assurance scheme has an impact on the timeline for BlackBerry 10 to receive a similar level of approval. The U.S. government's FIPS 140-2 certification of BlackBerry 10 and the selection of BlackBerry 10 by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) underline how our new platform continues to set the standard for government communications. We are continuing to work closely with CESG on the approval of BlackBerry 10 and we're confident that BlackBerry 10 will only strengthen our position as the mobile solution of choice for the U.K. government."
And here is the CESG quote:
"Discussions with BlackBerry are ongoing about the use of the BlackBerry 10 platform in government. We have not yet performed an evaluation of the security of that platform, but we expect to be issuing Platform Guidance in the summer. This will cover a number of platforms including Blackberry 10 (and the use of 'Balance'). We have a long standing security partnership with BlackBerry and this gives us confidence that the BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government."
or it is just the opposite, because in my country we have been hearing for a long time that because of the blackberry's software the phones cannot be (bugged) listened by the police or the government. And in these times we all know that every governm...
- 2013-03-20 19:21
Thats a big blow for them. They are now definetely behind Nokia in the smartphone comeback. HTC is soon becoming struggling too, and if BB perform worse than them, then the company's future might be in doubt.
- 2013-03-20 19:05
Who cares, BB and WP Nokia was an epic fail♧
- 2013-03-20 18:55