Tag Archives: Security

This Hacker Just Proved Why You Should Stick With BlackBerry

oleg-pliss-hack

N4BB reported:-
Most BlackBerry users are BlackBerry users for the smartphones’ most notable feature: security. BlackBerry 10 and legacy BBOS is nearly impenetrable, as two of the most secure enterprise and consumer smartphone operating systems of choice.

Unfortunately, for your friends with an Apple iPhone or iPad, who live in Australia or New Zealand, they haven’t enjoyed such security. Just when they thought they could sleep easy at night, they were awaken to a seemingly bizarre message.

Many users awoke to an alarming sound with a message on the screen reading “Device hacked by Oleg Pliss” and a demand of between $50 and $100 to unlock it.

How did the hacker compromise these devices? The exploit uses the “Find My iPhone” feature, which allows users to remotely lock their iPhones and iPads via iCloud in case the devices are lost or stolen.

Apple hasn’t yet publicly commented yet on the major vulnerability. Some users have reported they could get around the hack if they had previously used a passcode and then restored via iTunes.

For those who didn’t use a passcode, they were in for a little harder recovery as the hacker had made a passcode for them. Though, it may be possible to enter the wrong code six times to disable the phone and then restore it using iTunes.

Apple has been taking a beating lately in terms of security. Recently it was revealed that email attachments were not encrypted in iOS 7+, despite it being a feature Apple repeatedly touted.

Nevertheless, this is just one of many instances where a competing platform has inadvertently helped give BlackBerry another leg to stand on.

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How secure is your Mobile devices?

How secure is your Mobile devices?

This question have been toss around for quite some time, depending on how your organization value its data, different company treat the seriousness of data used by employees differently. Organizations such as Banks, Insurance Healthcare and even governments will pay more attention to their data security and the type of devices that was being used by its employees.

This is a real story told by my friend, this happens to his ABC company, his ABC company is into logistics business and mobile devices are widely used especially with the BYOD trend, to his company they never though that they will be the victim of data theft and losses to their business and accounts. The ABC company uses Android based solutions and their employees and managers uses a famous free chat application that they use to create a group chat for employees.

For the past few months customers that have confirm with their services are cancelling at the last minute and shift to their competitors, this have been going on since Jun 2013. An investigation was launch and they found out that there are Malware and applications that was used to exploit the loop hole in the chat application and their Android devices. The competitor uses this to spy on their chat conversation and are able to know which customers they have contract with and perform a counter offer.

ABC company have since stop the free chat usage and insist their employee to install BBM and are now looking into getting BlackBerry BES 10 for their company. My friend contacted me on this and i have shown him my BlackBerry device which he tested it and found that it is suitable for his company needs. He told me the main thing they need now is a secure messaging system, GPS, email, and a secure workspace to separate their employee personal and work related apps.

So beware of what applications that you install in your mobile phones. For those Organization that feel that mobile security is not important think again, your employee could be an unknowing victim of a hacker or have install Malware in his device and your company could be losing  confidential information to hackers or your competitors.

BBM Is Being Used By 85% Of BES Enabled Organizations

BBM Is Being Used By 85% Of BES Enabled Organizations

BlackBerry is releasing and announcing as much information as possible before their quarter earnings report tomorrow morning. Today, it focuses on BES’s ties with BBM. According to BlackBerry, BBM is being used by an outstanding 85% of BES enabled companies. BBM, being the top high-end messaging platform that it is, promotes productivity in the work environment, and drives mobile collaboration as well. Check out the press release below for more details.

Enterprises Choose BBM to Drive Mobile Collaboration and Communications, Improve Productivity

BBM on BlackBerry smartphones with BES offers organizations in regulated industries the ability to log, archive and audit BBM messages

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Dec. 19, 2013) – BlackBerry(R) (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) today announced that BBM(TM), a leading mobile messaging platform, is used by more than 85 percent of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) enabled organizations running BlackBerry smartphones, an end-to-end solution that allows logging, archiving and auditing of BBM conversations and aids in meeting compliance requirements in regulated industries.

Administrators can ensure that data is secure, whether in-transit or at-rest. Data in transit can be encrypted end-to-end within the organization and only BlackBerry provides a root of trust with a security model that runs from the CPU through the OS, file system and the applications level, all built by BlackBerry. End-to-end encryption for BBM use within the organization is available today on BlackBerry OS and will become available this spring for BlackBerry 10 users in regulated environments.

“While BBM among business customers may have started organically, we know organizations choose BBM today to improve communications and collaboration. Employees get an amazing messaging experience that gives them immediate, active conversations with their peers, which helps drive better communications and collaboration, and improves mobile productivity,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President of BBM at BlackBerry. “Organizations in regulated industries that need to meet compliance requirements can use BBM on BlackBerry smartphones with BES, which provides them with the ability to track and log BBM communications.”

“Mobile instant messaging in the enterprise as a priority application has to be implemented with a view to meeting compliance, privacy and security standards,” said IDC analyst John Jackson. “BBM for use in regulated environments on BlackBerry has been designed to meet these demands.”

“We are an organization with confidential information that needs to be shared reliably, securely and immediately, and we rely on BBM to make this happen,” said Bruce Bowser, President, AMJ Campbell Inc.

“Our teams need the ability to share important information through an instant and trusted channel. We choose BBM for our team mobile messaging communications,” said Nigel Carpenter, CIO, Canadian Diabetes Association. “BBM is also our go to for emergency situations where email would be unreliable and is integrated into our business continuity plan.”

Enterprise customers with BlackBerry smartphones can take advantage of key BBM and BlackBerry features to help drive collaboration and productivity, such as:

  •  BBM Voice – High quality calling that avoids long distance charges(i)
  • BBM Video and Screen Sharing on BlackBerry 10 smartphones – Chat face-to-face, or collaborate by sharing docs or files from your display
  •   BBM Groups – Up to 30 people can collaborate, share schedules, lists, calendars and photos
  •   Private BBM Channels – Invite-only BBM Channels for chats, commenting and broadcasting information to a targeted community of employees
  •  BlackBerry Keyboard – Enjoy the speed, accuracy and confidence that a BlackBerry keyboard brings while connecting with BBM Contacts

“Being able to communicate with our colleagues at the race track with the immediacy of BBM allows us to drive important decisions with the best information no matter where in the world we are,” said Toto Wolff, Executive Director, (Business) at MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team.

“BBM plays an instrumental role in our sales team’s ability to collaborate with one another regardless of location. We have used BBM for years to share documents, photos and instant chat with one another to help create efficiencies throughout our organization. But more importantly, it allows the sales team to communicate with customers and partners and answer their questions in near real-time, which go a long way in forging those important relationships,” said Jeff Goldstein, VP and General Manager at NetApp Canada.

“I have been an avid user of BBM since the beginning. Being able to communicate with friends, family and clients across the globe allows me to keep on top of everything no matter where I am,” said James Dodds, Vice President, TD Bank Group.

“With BBM, the efficiency and reliability of communication with my executive team has significantly increased and we are able to make better decisions, faster,” said Francois Boisvert, VP, Consulting Services at Macadamian.

Businesses see the benefits of choosing a trusted, secure solution like BES and BBM to ensure they have empowered employees and maintained a level of responsibility to the organization or industry.

How BlackBerry stands to benefit from NSA snooping allegations

How BlackBerry stands to benefit from NSA snooping allegations

An interesting article by Ivor Soans from First Post –

Edward Snowden may be Obama administration’s biggest bugbear, but the fallout of the NSA revelations may make Snowden a hero to BlackBerry fans desperately hoping for a revival of the once all-powerful smartphone maker.

The reason: Even as the US administration is working overtime repairing the damage to US foreign policy interests after it was alleged that NSA surveillance extended to the leaders of Russia, Mexico, Brazil, France and Germany , the furious German government which considered the US a close ally is now taking steps to protect itself despite US claims that it isn’t monitoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s communications now.

And as most Chief Information Officers will attest, on the mobility front, BlackBerry is the Gold Standard when it comes to security. According to a blog post by George Kesarios, as a result of the NSA revelations, the Apple iPhone will no longer be a device that will handle ‘official correspondence’ in the German government.

The BSI (Bonn federal office for information security) has drawn up guidelines and phones used by the German government must be BSI approved. And since the software developed by the BSI is not compatible with the iPhone, the conclusion of many observers is that soon iPhones will start disappearing from the German Parliament, says Kesarios.

Incidentally, the German government purchased nearly 40,000 secure BlackBerry Z10 smartphones a few months ago, including one for Merkel. eWeek reported that the Z10s in use by the German government included a Secusmart encryption engine installed via a micro SD card, that takes advantage of BlackBerry’s Balance feature, which allows the creation of a wall between two functions of the BlackBerry — once installed, the Secusmart BlackBerry meets NATO requirements for classified communications, allowing the BlackBerry Z10 to act as a typical smartphone, while encrypting all communications with other secure systems.

Other German government bodies have also taken to the Z10 since no foreign intelligence agency has succeeded in breaking the encryption on the phones, according to the German Interior Ministry . And this when Secusmart says that there was no way the NSA could crack the encryption built into Merkel’s Secusmart-enabled BlackBerry Z10.

Secusmart CEO Hans-Christoph Quelle insisted that the high security solution from Secusmart for secure communication within the German government was not affected by NSA attempts. “Theoretically, it would take 149 billion years to crack this code based on today’s technical standards, even with the use of special computers. The universe itself isn’t even that old. That’ll definitely keep the USA busy for awhile,” Quelle was quoted as saying.

In the UK, the Telegraph reports that Apple iPads have been banned from Cabinet meetings due to fears of foreign intelligence agencies bugging confidential meetings. It is feared China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan have developed the ability to turn mobiles into microphones and turn them into transmitters even when they are turned off, using a Trojan computer virus, explains the Telegraph article.

And in the US itself, while President Obama was the first President to carry a personal mobile phone and uses a secure BlackBerry , members of his Administration are told not to take Apple iPads on overseas trips because they are not considered secure enough.

While angry countries are making their annoyance known — in September Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a State Dinner at the White House , Brazil also joined hands with Germany to sponsor a resolution at the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee to protect the right to privacy against unlawful surveillance.

But while the posturing takes place it would be fairly obvious that Brazil, France, Russia, Mexico and hopefully our very own India would take US promises of no more surveillance with a NSA-sized pinch of salt. And which also means they’d be looking for secure mobile solutions and BlackBerry fits that need like a perfect glove.

And closer home, with claims of even state governments snooping illegally, and allegations of illegal tapping by even units of the Indian Army BlackBerry’s smartphones could find a renewed lease of life from those worried about such illegal monitoring, which thanks to scary revelations might include every official and politician in India. But even in other countries, this would certainly mean the niche government market for such solutions.

And new BlackBerry boss, John Chen, Executive Chair & CEO is a focused enterprise man who knows more than a thing or two about niche markets. In his last executive position, Chen was CEO of Sybase, and he took it from a position where it had lost respect and was bleeding money to one where he sold Sybase to SAP for $5.8 billion. His modus operandi was slashing expenses and a focused pursuit of niche segments of the database market rather than competing with database behemoths like Oracle and IBM.

Chen’s latest move where BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben and COO Kristian Tear were shown the door earlier this week might also be a clear sign that BlackBerry will be focused on its enterprise customers and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), it’s now cross-platform mobile instant messenger whose initial cross-platform adoption numbers pleasantly surprised even BlackBerry fans, leave alone media that usually bays for BlackBerry’s blood.

While BlackBerry spends on boosting BBM’s popularity, it has also launched the first salvo into monetising BBM.

The focus on the enterprise might be the other lynchpin of this strategy till they hopefully get to the future where BlackBerry could aim at becoming a leader in software-driven mobile computing solutions (that touches vehicles, healthcare, financial markets, etc,) with BBM extending reach to the consumer domain and connecting the two (which was also why BBM went cross-platform).

In the context of the CMO and COO exits, Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst at the Enderle Group told Financial Post that much of the marketing activity had been reaching out and going after consumers, and in an enterprise business, that’s mostly carried by sales. In the same article, BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis explained: “If you’re going to have a consumer focused business. It’s good to have a CMO. Because you’re going to be doing a lot of heavy advertising.” Gillis believes BlackBerry will inevitably “deemphasize the handset business, or won’t focus on selling it to consumers.”

Chen certainly seems to be starting well on the incisive leadership block and the NSA revelations may have just given BlackBerry a lucrative chance to own a profitable niche from where Chen can start rebuilding the brand. And while its early days yet, some have even started comparing him to Steve Jobs .