Guardian: BlackBerry 10 not secure enough for UK government; CESG: security hasn't actually been evaluated yet

Guardian: BlackBerry 10 not secure enough for UK government; CESG: security hasn't actually been evaluated yetCanadian manufacturer BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) suffered a bit of a blow last month when it was revealed that the US Pentagon would open its doors to iOS and Android in February 2014.

On a vaguely similar note, BlackBerry 10 has been rejected for ‘Restricted’ government work in the UK on account of security concerns.

BlackBerry OS 7.1 was approved by the CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) in December last year, for sensitive UK government work up to ‘Restricted’ level.

And while BlackBerry boasts that it’s “the only mobile solution” deemed suitable for such work, BlackBerry 10 has failed to secure the same approval.

It’s not clear what the CESG’s concerns are in particular, but one of the key features of BlackBerry 10 is something called Balance, which allows independent work and personal profiles.

Putting a brave face on things, a statement from BlackBerry explains: “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.

"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 UK government."

via: Guardian (retracted)

UPDATE: Following the The Guardian's report, CESG issued the following statement:

"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 the 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."

(Thanks to tapi)

Read more about: Blackberry OS

Add a comment
14 comments

Stelph  Mar. 20, 2013 at 16:02

Didnt the pentagon only just buy a shed load of these?

Considering how often emails and the like leak out of the government, and how difficult the police found it to track down the culprits of the London riots after they organised themselves using Blackberrys, im surprised by this

tapi  Mar. 20, 2013 at 16:16

it hasn't been rejected, or failed on a number of security concerns.
let's see what the CESG actually said http://www.cesg.gov.uk/News/Pages/Blackberry-10-in-Government.aspx

BB10 hasn't been evaluated yet, the government is reviewing its whole classification and Information Security processes, leading to delays internally. The CESG is hoping to actually evaluate and issue guidance this summer and, based on past performance as RIM, expecting no issues to crop up.

maybe worth rewriting the headline, or making this clearer in the article, 'rejected for a number of security concerns' is a little misleading.

tapi  Mar. 20, 2013 at 16:50

it's no coincidence that the guardian 'news piece' came out with just enough time for it to be picked up and repeated stateside just before the z10 release on friday. if it had been written last week it would be refuted in time, and if it were tomorrow then unlikely to have filtered across before people would *gasp* go out and buy one. Charles Arthur is notorious for the pro apple slant and if this piece isn't direct evidence of him slavishly pushing out 'facts' fed from his handler in Hanover street then I don't know what is.

mightyforest  Mar. 20, 2013 at 17:01

million z10s due on ebay

tapi  Mar. 20, 2013 at 17:09

Lewis, a nice speedy response. thank you - that's responsible and balanced journalism. Now, if you could just sever ties with that bitterwallet shamble..... :-)

lcurdie / MOD  Mar. 20, 2013 at 17:28

Haha! Watch it; I started with that shamble :p

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 20, 2013 at 18:21

What a farce.... UK and US authorities can't secure their toilet lids. And heck, it was the F.B.I. that utilised Sabu to hack Stratfor AND 'leak' their email - causing significant harm and/or embarrassment to thousands of Stratfor clients... Sabu's sentencing has just last week been 'delayed' again - strongly suggesting he's still playing Anonymous prison bait for the Feds... Meanwhile police departments embarrass themselves, and not a day goes by without some idiot with high level clearance losing a laptop or phone in a pub. Farce.

30 million Americans alone (!!!!) have some sort of access to classified "secret and top secret" material. 30 million!!!! NOTHING can contain that sewage of secrecy! And they don't really give a sh*t, anyways... Manning was a 20 year old nobody from nowheresville when he had access to stuff the leaking of which apparently justifies his torture and a life in solitary confinement! FARCE!

mightyforest  Mar. 20, 2013 at 20:55

or maybe they just realised the phones crap?

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 20, 2013 at 21:25

or maybe they just realised the phones crap? I guess, in a nutshell, that may well be closer to the truth... A couple of string-pullers waste a few millions on a report that just so proves why their favourite OS is most suited. Happens all the time. Group think.

mightyforest  Mar. 20, 2013 at 21:29

be a bit silly if after buying a boat load of phones BB go out of business in a year or two and big company's have to change their systems. TBH ive always thought Android was the worst for security but what do i know :)

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 20, 2013 at 21:32

be a bit silly if after buying a boat load of phones BB go out of business in a year or two and big company's have to change their systems. TBH ive always thought Android was the worst for security but what do i know :)
Yeah, dito... The Pentagon's been working on a "secure" version of Android for years... wonder how far they've progressed. Charlie Tango Force Closed D'oh

tapi  Mar. 20, 2013 at 22:19

looks like the article's been pulled now (no amendment or statement)

pfezziwig  Mar. 21, 2013 at 01:18

The Guardian was caught lying, why won't media outlets admit this, or are they too embarrassed for publishing the lies ?

JanSt / MOD  Mar. 21, 2013 at 06:55

The Guardian was caught lying, why won't media outlets admit this, or are they too embarrassed for publishing the lies ?
Pfezziwig, errors were admitted 7 hours before you posted your comment ;)

Yes, Charles Arthur, the author of the original Guardian article corrected his error on, ahem, Twitter https://twitter.com/charlesarthur/status/314436939212263424

In all fairness: Charles Arthur is one of the few mainstream techbloggers who does admit when he's wrong and who openly discusses his articles on Twitter and elsewhere.

Here's Blackberry's reaction: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/03/20/blackberry-bb10-not-secure-enough-for-u-k-false/?__lsa=0687-d488

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: