BlackBerry is defending itself against claims that a Dutch forensics unit has found a way to decrypt messages from a BlackBerry smartphone. The company has issued an official statement, saying it was unaware of the method that was used and added that its phones "remain as secure and private as they have always been."
According to BBC News, the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) claims to have decrypted 275 emails off a BlackBerry device, out of 325 emails found on the phone. NFI offers services to the Dutch police, and would not reveal how this was accomplished. There is some speculation is that it could have used special software or hardware to decrypt the data, possibly even dismantling the BlackBerry device itself and directly accessing the memory chips.
BlackBerry's full statement on this issue is below:
There have been recent media reports that police-affiliated groups in the Netherlands have been able to 'crack' the encryption protecting e-mails and other data that are stored on BlackBerry devices.
BlackBerry does not have any details on the specific device or the way that it was configured, managed or otherwise protected, nor do we have details on the nature of the communications that are claimed to have been decrypted.
If such an information recovery did happen, access to this information from a BlackBerry device could be due to factors unrelated to how the BlackBerry device was designed, such as user consent, an insecure third party application, or deficient security behavior or the user.
Furthermore, there are no backdoors in any BlackBerry devices, and BlackBerry does not store and therefore cannot share BlackBerry device passwords with law enforcement or anyone else. In other words, provided that users follow recommended practices, BlackBerry devices remain as secure and private as they have always been.
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