BlackBerry, UK government reject claims of failed BB10 security certification

BlackBerry and the British government deny a British newspaper claim that BlackBerry 10 has failed a major government security certification

Both BlackBerry and the U.K. government have denied reports that the new BB10 software has been rejected for use in sensitive government communications.

Tuesday evening, UK newspaper The Guardian reported that the new BB10 operating system has been rejected by the UK's Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) for use in classified government communications. The paper claims the OS failed some security requirements in the Blackberry Balance software, which is intended to separate work and personal accounts and prevent data copying between the two.  

BlackBerry, however, has strongly rejected the report, saying it is "both false and misleading." A company spokesperson told PCWorld: "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.

"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," the BlackBerry statement continued. "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."

A UK Government Communications Headquarters spokesperson also clarified to PCWorld:

"We are in ongoing discussions with BlackBerry about the use of BlackBerry 10 in government. We have not yet performed a security evaluation 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 using Balance). We have a strong security partnership with BlackBerry and this gives us confidence that BlackBerry 10 is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government."

As BlackBerry alluded to in its statement, the older BlackBerry 7.1 OS was cleared for UK government use in December 2012 for classifications up to "Restricted"--two levels below "Secret." The BlackBerry Z10 has been on sale in Europe since earlier this year, with good initial sales, but analyst reports suggest the early sales pace has since slowed down.

The BlackBerry Z10 is set to go on sale in U.S. later this week, where BB10 has already received government security clearance in the form of the FIPS 140-2 certification, which allows agencies to deploy devices using the software. The German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) has also approved BB10 for official use.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags BlackberryBusiness mobilityconsumer electronicssecuritysmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?