UK government agency clarifies stance on BlackBerry 10 security certification

BlackBerry Z10
By James Richardson on 20 Mar 2013 10:18 am EDT
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I read an article earlier today over on The Guardian's website which stated that BlackBerry 10 would not be safe enough for government work here in the UK. I didn't believe what I was reading could be true, so I made a few phone calls to my buddies at BlackBerry to set the record straight.

The Guardian stated that the UK's Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) have not passed certification for BlackBerry 10. Well, that would be correct and here's why: CESG have recently changed the way that they operate and the new evaluation process is not a short one. In fact, it can take a good seven months or so. If that's the case then of course the CESG would not have said that Blackberry 10 is secure enough for the UK government and security agencies to use - BlackBerry 10 simply isn't old enough.

BlackBerry is working closely with the CESG here in Great Britain and considering that older BlackBerry software has been famous for its security features, I am more than confident that when the testing process is complete all will be fine.

Here's the official word from CESG on the matter:

"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." 

There you have it - BlackBerry 10 isn't certified for British government use yet. BlackBerry World is right around the corner, where it wouldn't be surprising to see a significant OS update with even more of the security features governments and large corporations need. 

61 comments

Marc_Paradise

Interesting - guardian article states that it actively failed, yet it hasn't even been evaluated....

Posted via CB10

QuIcKsIlV3r

interesting, we shall see how this goes then

just_luc

This makes a lot more sense then that guardian article.. but alas, that poorly researched bit of hrmm "journalism' will still spread viraly and cause our stock to plummet..

ptctomlinson

I thought the same thing, but what's interesting is that the BBRY stock is actually hitting +5% today.

Marc_Paradise

Morgan Stanley upgraded from the equivalent of Sell to Buy

mscooley

Really sucks that we have to rely on each other for credible info while mainstream continues to bash and belittle. Oh well. #KeepMoving. Thanks, CB.

mr_zed10

This makes a lot more sense, the general view in some people's mind is that BlackBerry10 has "Failed" the security vetting process, but in reality it just hasn't been passed yet, hence why they are working closely with cesg.

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keypad

This story was a clear case of Zombie reporting.

In the end it only helps BlackBerry out, when individuals have to start retracting statements and flawed investigations in the future.

Switch13

"...a significant OS update with even more of the security features governments and large corporations need. "

So, is this device enterprise ready? We're waiting till June/July before we consider rollout based on the BES10 release roadmaps.

darkwater79

It is enterprise ready. Whether it suits your enterprise needs is up to you to determine. Many companies are actively using it in their environments already.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10!

TheR1ck

It's article like this that make the stock plunge

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ptctomlinson

This reminds me an awful lot of when the US carriers announced the phone wouldn't be released until March (now). People who didn't do their research automatically thought that it was because the carriers had no confidence in BB10, when in actuality it was because they were still testing the Z10.

critanime

I have just viewed the guardian article and it indeed looks poorly written and presumptive. Got to love our media at times.....

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Louis Belshaw

Mscooly I second that

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BlackQtCoder

Media naysayers strikes back

eszklar

This begs the question what, if any, phone or OS does pass the UK security requirement? I'm interested in a Secure Android ROM that I believe the NSA put out. Would love to test this on my Galaxy Nexus.

darkehawke

BlackBerry os 7.1 is the only one I know for sure, I think 7,6 and 5 also. But only blackberry. The UK government is unlikely to ever use android currently and IOS isn't even in the picture.

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chan_the_killer

Glad that everything is clarify... :D

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_BlackCherry_

By BlackBerry World, I believe you meant BlackBerry Live sir

Fanatix85

As soon as I saw N4BB tweet about this yesterday, i knew the tech site here in the USA were going to have a field day with their "Headlines" for the article...

NaijaBerry

I actually just read this on CNET who said "according to The Guardian", hows that for responsible reporting? Like I've always said, RIM should wake up in the PR department. There should be a counter article publishing facts instantly when things like this pop up, it means a whole lot to all tiers of consumers. A simple headline BB10 to undergo updated CESG evaluation process, followed by the very important quote above. This would do a whole lot for this brand!

AWB70

What is it with people being so quick to put blackberry down? It's turning into a feeding frenzy.

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jojo beaconsfield

i'm sure i'll be seeing this information being twisted in a way not favorable to bb in many places. when one is outright lying it should be criminal.problem is they don't have enough prisons for the gang on wallstreet.

The Me

Good news and to the point. All those "news" articles from bashers are just to get clicks! FOR SHAME!

jimmychen17

Write to the author of the guardian article

charles.arthur@guardian.co.uk

Or follow him on twitter

http://twitter.com/charlesarthur

Posted via CB10

Techno-Emigre

REALLY?!? I would be sanctioned for that kind of unethical reporting. I hope BB is on this and having a conversation with higher-ups at the publication. Grrr!

jojo beaconsfield

not much you can do about it,they hv thier ways.when u play in thier court u play by thier rules,wallstreet rules.sucks EH!!!

qdogg73

I can't talk to much on the UK side of things but I can talk on the Canadian side of things. The phone itself is not the issue with security. It's BES10 that's not ready. BlackBerry is planning on releasing a fully corporate service pack In their next major release. This will allow the phone to work as a fully corporate phone. Balance is great for a majority of enterprise areas but is not sufficient for a government agency. By having a fully corporate BES along with two factor authentication you now have a very secure reliable phone. It's the BES that makes the phone the most secure and that's just around the corner. FIPS 140-2 needs two factor authentication and it's not available yet. The next release of Bes10 is what all government agencies are waiting for. Remember BES10 is very much in its infancy but we're almost there from a government standpoint.

Posted via CB10

jc_halifax

Qdogg73 - you seem to know what you are talking about. Does that mean that the Canadian government will likely NOT be able to allow BB Balance? I was hoping to only carry one phone at some point. Oh, to dream!

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Bauers

Just wanted to point out that BB10 received FIPS 140-2 certification prior to launch of the handsets! The first to do so!

And poor research from the Guardian bybthe reporter. Once again justbgrasping at a statement without reading through it to write a crappie story.

darkehawke

Exactly. The UK government would never use brand new technology. It has to be fairly established. They will also not use another platform, the only approved platform is blackberry os 7.1.
So it is not exactly a loss for BlackBerry

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thecsman

Few journalists are objective with BlackBerry these days. Could it be because they can't hack into BlackBerrys or bribe enough to get access through the carriers?

Ha!

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Bravo-_-

You hit the nail on the head! My thoughts exactly, that goes for every government as well.

devcellent

Great! Thanks for the post. It gave us the clarity on the real fact!

randynjaimie

For the most recent 5 years, the US media elected to share only two types of stories about RIM: 1.) negative news; and 2.) inaccurate negative news. I hope that the media worm in the UK is not being incentivised to do the same with BlackBerry like was done across the pond.

qdogg73

Jchalifax - not necessarily. Just depends on what Bes10 brings to the table.

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jc_halifax

Right. I'll still keep my fingers crossed then. ;-)

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tomoneus

The news fooled me again ! But I still wish all the luck to pass the certification, Blackberry !

pmeuser

The system is still in its early stage. It's not difficult to show an existing security hole.

Just try this with an Z10 activated on BDS: After activating the device with the default Policy, deactivate the access to Cloud Services (Dropbox, Box) in the Policy. What happens to the Services on the devices? Nothing! Bad move.

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qdogg73

hopefully those at BB read these forums and have these fixes for the first major SP release.

lamb197

The comment from "thecsman" sums it up regarding the journalists!

mediadavid

haha! He tweeted this earlier...

Charles Arthur ‏@charlesarthur 4h
" Starting to think it’s not worth writing any smartphone story that isn’t backed by financial results or respected analyst data."

So the TECHNOLOGY EDITOR of the Guardian is sarcasticly bemoaning that he can't get away with writing baseless slander any more!

Playbook007

Well Engadget com did not waste anytime to start the bashing. Z10 is awesome!

Posted via CB10

mediadavid

Is it just me or has that article now dissapeared from the Guardian website? I smell a retraction coming up...

svelt

Shoddy reporting of people jumping the gun as usual. Thanks for shedding some clarity as always CB

Mr Gill

Another case of biased articles and negative publicity for BBRY. Thanks for setting the record straight.

padlock7

The article has been pulled from the guardian's site

Posted via CB10

Rootbrian

LOL! They ate their words.

anon5387384

Yeah saw the Guardian Author defending himself on twitter. Claimed for the most part that he was right. He just would not back down. It really comes down to massive ego from many of these guys.

UPDATE: OK now the author Charles Arthur has finally relented and admitted he was wrong. Here is his latest tweet.

Charles Arthur ‏@charlesarthur 17m
Re BlackBerry article: we’re making corrections. Was wrong to suggest CESG has “rejected” BB10. It’s unevaluated. http://bit.ly/16JMXWV

DuexNoir

Gotta love the CB and BlackBerry community for making sure these false reporting is corrected. Kudos to you all. :)

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

syedqadri

As I am from the UK I am shocked by that article, the way the UK media works is truly shocking , if you wan't proof read the daily mail ,

James Richardson

Guardian post removed so i'm informed. That's all I'm saying on the matter.
Good day to you.

Posted via CB10

4speed

This was just another blatant and malicious attempt by vicious media attack dogs to harm Blackberry. The author should be fired and the Guardian should be slapped with a heavy fine.

sok2507

Monitor the Guardian tech pages for a few days and the pro-Cupertino flavour seeps through...sad.

Jonesy1966

The author of the original article, Charles Arthur, is getting some serious grief on Twitter about this. He's more or less defending his article and claiming it all boils down to semantics and an over zealous headline editor. LMAO!

fsecure

Unfortunately not surprising that the media is skewed in its reporting. Is there anybody else out there still not convinced that Apple uses its "war chest" for more than R&D? I would suggest that perhaps lobbying the media could be a plausible alternative use of these funds. Unfortunately biased reporting does exist in our society and those with the money have great influence. Marxism lives.

Batmark

I read about this on BGR first. That site should have a disclaimer on it. Something like "If you're an idiot and believe everything you read is true click Enter".

bambinoitaliano

Sad thing is Toronto Star run the misreport article of The Guardian. There's no journalistic integrity what so ever! To have another news paper published without fact checking, might as well turn into the tabloid at the supermarket check out.

nt300

The guardian article is a joke.

Rootbrian

DEBUNKED! I knew that guardian would be eating it's words. I mean fibers.