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BlackBerry denies BB10 10 failed high-security tests

Sam Loveridge


BlackBerry Z10
BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry has refuted claims that the recently released BlackBerry10 operating system has been ruled unsafe for essential government work in the UK, after failing to reach the necessary standards in UK High Security Testing.

Widely reported as another blow to the struggling smartphone manufacturer, the Canadian company has denied reports that its latest OS offering has failed government security testing, a stumbling block that would have resulted in missing out on any large-scale government orders that could revitalise waning sales figures.

“Media reports alleging that BlackBerry 10 has been ‘rejected’ for U.K. government use are both false and misleading," an official BlackBerry spokesperson told TrustedReviews. "BlackBerry has 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."

Now known to be falsified, it had been claimed that tests had been carried out by the UK Government’s high security testing agency, the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), which authorises hardware and software for use in official capacities. Back in December 2012, the BB 7.1 OS, the BB10 predecessor, was cleared by the CESG for classifications up to 'Restricted', which is two levels below 'Secret'.

It had been suggested that CESG’s tests had showed that the BlackBerry Z10 hardware, as well as the BB10 and BlackBerry Balance software, which enables BlackBerry Z10 users to separate personal and work profiles on the handset, failed the security requirements to achieve Restrictive classification clearance. BlackBerry Balance was marketed to offer secure, switchable account management designed for business users, so the news that this isn’t quite the case should be quite an impact on the new OS.

Further refuting these reports, the BlackBerry spokesperson added: "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."

Both the BlackBerry Z10 and the soon-to-launch physical QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry Q10 were launched to secure the company’s long-time loyal fan base, and recapture business clientèle lost to rival handsets like the iPhone 5 or the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Outside the UK, BB10 and the BlackBerry Z10 have been approved by the US government’s FIPS 140-2 certification and are currently in use by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security.

"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.”

The BlackBerry Z10 is due to launch in the US next week, whilst the BlackBerry Q10 is set to ship in the UK from June.

Backing up BlackBerry's claims, a statement from GCHQ added: "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."

Were you impressed with the BlackBerry Z10 and the BB10 OS? Could these security failings be the end of the BB10 OS? Drop us a line at the TrustedReviews Facebook and Twitter feeds or the comments below.

Via: Guardian


March 20, 2013, 5:35 pm

Garbage article posted to the web even after the British Government Agency CESG has already come out and stated that this information is not true and that the Z10 has not even been tested for these standards yet (http://www.computerweekly.c.... You quoted blackberry a fair bit in this article but left out the part where blackberry called the Gardians report "false and misleading". Why does web media jump and every chance to write negative articles on blackberry, even when the information is a lie?


March 20, 2013, 7:44 pm

"Could these security failings be the end of the BB10 OS?" Before you ask these questions maybe you should post which mobile device and/or OS has received this certification.

Lastly the Guardian has since retracted their story:

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

— Charles Arthur (@charlesarthur) March 20, 2013

Nate Ebner

March 20, 2013, 10:55 pm

Or could the endorsement of the only manufacturer to make phones secure enough historically, and who still has the trust of the government, further endorse the security features?


March 21, 2013, 1:10 am

a more fitting title would be 'Guardian Caught Lying' or 'Lazy Journalists Re-Publish Trash Worldwide'


March 21, 2013, 7:42 am

"Were you impressed with the BlackBerry Z10 and the BB10 OS? Could these security failings be the end of the BB10 OS?"

More like journalistic failings. Your whole article is contemptible. You repeat false allegations which could materially hurt a company and cost people their livlihood, and wilfully misreport the CESG's rebuttal of your fabrication .


March 21, 2013, 1:00 pm

Where can I get job like this HACK that all I have to copy and paste articles that have been retracted for being nothing but a lie. Where is the accountability for these fools.


March 21, 2013, 7:49 pm

"BlackBerry denies BB10 10 failed high-security tests"

Honestly, have you no shame? Why not state the bald facts:
1) Not BB, the CESG itself has denied your story
2) The Guardian, whose story you copied, has retracted
3) Your whole story is without foundation, the tide went out and you were caught with your trunks down.

If you want to be taken seriously, make a proper apology, mea culpa and retraction on your front page, instead of what we see here, a gutter press classic "Minister denies molesting boy" type of headline.


March 22, 2013, 5:55 am

Similar articles have been published in the US by electonista.com saying that the US Defense dept. rejected the BlackBerry on security grounds. This was denied by the US department of Defense. Such stories and articles appear to be well organized plants and seem to be part of a much larger global program of innuendo and disinformation.

Jon Donnis

April 4, 2013, 1:12 am

To get more hits and traffic for their adverts. So con articles basically.

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