BlackBerry Guardian adds another layer of protection to Android apps on BlackBerry

By Bla1ze on 29 Jul 2014 10:18 am EDT
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Back in February, BlackBerry announced they had teamed up with Trend Micro to roll out their own internal, proprietary app analysis program to help vet apps going into BlackBerry World called BlackBerry Guardian. Today, in NYC at the BlackBerry Security Summit, BlackBerry has announced that program will now extended to Android apps available from the Amazon Appstore and other sources when it arrives with BlackBerry OS 10.3 officially.

BlackBerry Guardian is just one part of our multi-layered security strategy. BlackBerry 10 was designed for security from the ground up. Resilient enough to power nuclear power plants and designed to fail safe, the QNX microkernel core that powers the BlackBerry 10 OS offers exceptional security strengths. Its unique sandboxing capabilities are designed to contain and separate each application and its data from other applications and core system functionality.

If a suspicious app is detected, the user will have the choice to proceed or cancel the installation. This on-device service will be available for free to users of the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic and future BlackBerry 10 devices. Existing BlackBerry 10 customers can expect to see BlackBerry Guardian in an upcoming BlackBerry 10 software update.

If you already own a BlackBerry 10 device, this service is active for BlackBerry app installations, but starting with the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Guardian will automatically check all Android apps that you install on your BlackBerry smartphone.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Guardian adds another layer of protection to Android apps on BlackBerry

159 Comments

I installed the free version of BitDefender which scans all Android apps during their installation.

If you trust BitDefender's scans, then it appears you can get this functionality today.

But it's still a great idea for BlackBerry to include this baked into the OS without requiring any additional scanning apps to be installed.

Posted via CB10

This is great. I just don't trust Android apps. I have one or two Android apps that I need and are not in BlackBerry World, the rest I have deleted.

Great work BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Completely agree, BlackBerry is now the most secure company in tech period.

Brilliant moves by Chen!

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

Doesn't address permission concern. Which is why personally, I will never use an app that is not native. That's just me and I'm sure a few others here on CB

Posted via CB10

You're not alone.

Zero Android craps on any BlackBerry I use. For ever.

If a dev wants to make $, better get your app "made for BlackBerry" certified.

CDN

Simple and Short, You said it all. I have not and never will install Andcrapoid into this phone only made for BlackBerry apps

Posted Using the magical typings of da "Q"

I agree. The permissions problem needs to be addressed, and it's hard to see how that will happen.

Thumb-flicked from my Z30 via CB10

Android 4.3 has support for AppOps, so it's not that hard to see it happen. They just need to enable it with 10.3.

Posted via CB10

+1
I'm hoping BlackBerry addresses this and allows us to control permissions for android apps. If not, the amazon store won't mean much.

Android apps may need full permissions to be installed on to your phone, but they can't actually access the ones that aren't being used for the app. Don't go off my word because I am not a developer or knowledgeable about that kind of stuff, but I have read pieces from people who are and they are convinced that downloading android apps with full permissions is safe (obviously not applying to malware etc)

Posted via CB10

Why can't BlackBerry improve the Android Runtime and make global permission in the settings for all android apps?

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.3253 CB10

If they do it "just like that", then those restrictions will apply to all the Android apps on the bb10 phone.

Meaning if you forbid a fart app to access your camera, then Skype won't be allowed to access your camera either.

Posted via CB10

Haha blackphone was a joke from the start. It's android enough said.

Posted by Antoniius via my sexy Gold and White Q10.

"Existing BlackBerry 10 customers can expect to see BlackBerry Guardian in an upcoming BlackBerry 10 software update."

Posted via CB10

The release specifically states it will be free for all users. Cynicism only works when you get te facts straight to begin with.

Posted via CB10

I suggest you re-read the whole thing... but let me highlight the important bits

The statement
"***FREE*** to users of the BlackBerry Passport, BlackBerry Classic and ***FUTURE*** BlackBerry 10 devices"

The comment made above
"What about the ***PREVIOUS*** 10 devices when would they benefit from this?"

:) nothing out of the ordinary with that practice of "hidden charges". Apple and others do it and I have no issues with it on my Apple products. It's the name of the game.

The way I read the post is it will be free for all bb10 phones starting with the newest ones that already have 10.3 software installed upon release.

Z10, Q10, Z30, and so on will get it when they get a software update (10.3) etc in the future.

Take care.

www.carm.org

It's just that BlackBerry is using terrible wording, as usual. They could have just said that this free service would be made available to all BlackBerry 10 devices, starting with the Passport.

I have no plans to install any App from Android. If it's not a native BlackBerry App, it's not on my phone.

 Z30 Rocks 

Well than you can continue missing out on great additional functionality.

I'm quite content with instagram, TripAdvisor, Google Maps, Endomondo, feedly, and pocket

Posted via CB10

All have native replacements and in some cases they work better. BTW I don't need an app to tell me how far I've run or to creep on celebs either. But that's just me.

Posted via CB10

Unfortunately, there are many useful apps that there are no native replacements for. For example, I do some couponing and money saving with my fiancé and there are no native ports of things like Shopkick and Ibotta. And, having an additional device just to have those apps is not saving money by any stretch.

Nifty Foods! C003262E5

Then your apps are pretty limited. Take Waze for example, last update on BlackBerry was more than a year ago. Android version is so much better. There are many banking apps not available on BlackBerry natively And you have to rely on the browser.

Posted via CB10

Please verify "many banking apps". I think Bmo was the last big holdout for Canadian banks at least. They now have a good native app and have updated it once or twice in the last 6 months.

Posted via CB10

Hopefully, BlackBerry will let us disable this service for sideloaded apps as it would represent a breach of privacy otherwise.

Do you want BlackBerry to know everything you do on your device? With Guardian enabled, they will know what and when you install apps. Not a problem for most people, but it's just another means of collecting metadata.

What makes you think that BlackBerry wants to have that kind of info?

And what makes you think they do not already collected that info whenever you install a bar file or an APK? :)

Posted via CB10

What I like about this news is the extension of BlackBerry Guardian to Apps on the Amazon store. This answers my concern on the security of the apps to be download on Amazon.

Good job BlackBerry!

Posted via CB10

Security and fun can go together as well..... get us the fun Apps and also give us the Security

Posted via CB10

How long will we wait for 10.3? Can't help but grumble but OS 10 was supposed to be the next best thing. 10.1, then 10.2, etc. Hurry up!

Posted via CB10

First device on 10.3 is several weeks away yet, so the OS Update for existing devices will be a month or more after that. Be patient, er are seeing nothing but good things (apart from the idiots who have posted Passport videos).

Posted via CB10

Considering the first device with 10.3 is less than 2 months away i'd say 10.3 is A LOT sooner than 10 months out for older devices.

Sent from my Z10. Or was it my Q10? Either way, it was sent from an awesome phone.

This is good news. I use Trend Micro products to protect all my Windows PC's and servers the businesses I work for so I am very happy to see their partnership with BlackBerry extend to all apps installed on our devises. A perfect choice, in my experience.

Z30 Rocks!

Something Android doesn't have! How well will it work at sniffing out malware, that's the question.

Sweet! They ought to make a new government variant of the Passport called the "Fort Knox" edition. Super secure.

Posted via CB10

I don't mind having "Samsung Knox" in one side and "BlackBerry Knox" in the other side.

What better way to highlight the differences between the two?

After all you do have an Apple Appstore and an Amazon Appstore too.

And GoogleDrive vs. Microsoft OneDrive vs. BlackBerry WorkDrive.

Posted via CB10

Did somebody perceive something? I don't understand if the current BlackBerry 10 devices will receive the amazon apps antivirus scanner before the Passport and Classic, or just that OS 10.3 will not be available for current devices. Maybe I'm just paranoid after the PlayBook trap.

God Bless You!

You're paranoid. :)

Here is the chronological timeline:

1) passport with 10.3 and Guardian
2) existing BB10 with 10.3 without Guardian
3) classic with 10.3 and Guardian
4) existing BB10 with Guardian

It is the usual delivery system since January 2013 for BB10 OS.

10.0 with the Z10,
10.1 with the Q10
10.2 with the Z30.

And to stop your paranoia, as far as I know the Z10 and even the Q5 today are in par with the Z30 in terms of software Operating System.

Posted via CB10

So BlackBerry 10 is the most secure platform for running Android apps now! A better way to run Android apps than a Google phone!

Posted via CB10

I wonder how long it will be before the Google machine tries to mimick this security feature. Perhaps they should just license the tech off of BlackBerry.

There is less and less reason to own an Android phone over a bb10 every day....

Would it be possible to have software that tricks the app into thinking it has access? So when the permissions open we decide to give it real access or trick it into thinking it has access? A mini sand box in the android sandbox.

Posted via CB10

Excellent news. I would've NEVER ran an Android app lol. This changes things significantly for me.

Posted via CB10

Yes! Thank Goodness.. now all these android apps that we enjoy but worry about having all permissions will be held accountable and filtered.. like going through Customs..

Q10 on T-Mobile

The reviews are usually a good indication... either in the Appstore where you see them, or in other app stores, or on YouTube.

Buyer beware...

Posted via CB10

Brilliant and bravo Blackberry! This announcement works on multiple levels, underlining BB's commitment to security while also promoting the power and flexibility to install and run Android apps.

Introducing the most secure way to run Android: BlackBerry 10

Now you can have the fun and convenience of your favorite Android apps combined with the world's most secure mobile operating system. In addition to hundreds of thousands of cutting edge native apps now you can install and run popular Android apps and run them directly inside BlackBerry's locked down security shell. No prying eyes, no snoopy marketers, just the apps you want -- the way you want them.

Blackberry 10.3 -- Work securely

Posted via CB10

Dear all, belonging to a nation where, even if 10% people buy BlackBerry phone, the profit will be far from what we had in years. Still, what bothers me is I, along with others, bought this product only on its integral value. People want BlackBerry to advertise it's security features. Which according to me, will ruin it's integrity. Now the question is should it advertise or not.
BlackBerry fan by heart

Posted via CB10

This is very impressive. Keep Moving BlackBerry! In the most important direction leaving all the competitors in the dust!

Posted via CB10

I can take off my tin foil hat now!

Thank you blackberry.. people where starting to stare..

Posted by my Z10. Technology given to me by the Leak Gods, or should I say the "Ancient Aliens"! 10.2.1.3253

An excellent layer of extra security. I'm so happy I use a blackberry!

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

I love it!!! I can see the commercial now..."Blackberry: making your Android apps safer to use then Android can!" Awesome news.

Posted on my Q10!!! BB10 FTW!!!

Got a quick unrelated question. Can I add my own footer to emails I am sending out from my BlackBerry q10? What's the procedure setting this up on the bb?

Posted via CB10

Yes you can. I guess you intentionally removed it and don't know how to put it back.

Home screen > hub > action button > settings > Email accounts > choose the email account you want to edit > Auto signature > On

Posted via CB10

I know some had mentioned fears with using Android Apps on their protected BlackBerry devices. This is a nice answer to all of that.

This is great, and very much needed. Android has more malware than any other mobile platform. As for the permission thing, BlackBerry could solve it, but some apps may crash if they cannot execute a function in the way they expect. Android needs to solve this at an api level, just like how BlackBerry native did it.

Because on your BlackBerry 10 phone, you have only one single Android app sandbox. So from outside, you can only configure it as a whole.

Posted via CB10

Seems like as of late, things are moving along quite nicely for BlackBerry! All of this positive news and good buzz going on , makes me more proud to be a BB user. Seems like things are changing for the better

Swiggity.....BlackBerry has finally listened to our requests......BlackBerry: 1 Companies who care about their customers: 5,000,000