Police Claim They Can Crack Emails on Uncrackable BlackBerries

By Chris Mills on at

BlackBerry already trades on the strength of its software’s security, so you’d think that a special £1,200 ultra-encrypted Berry would be a guarantee of privacy. According to Dutch police, not so much.

In a report on Dutch blog misdaadnieuws.com, since confirmed by Motherboard, the Netherlands Forensic Institute has claimed to break a series of encrypted emails held on BlackBerrys that have been modified by Canadian firm Phantom Secure.

The company claims to offer a “high-end communication service designed for sophisticated and exclusive executives,” but the reality seems to be a little different. According to leaked documents, the NFI managed to pull 325 emails off a device, and decrypt 279 of them.

The technique only seems to work when authorities have physical access to a device, so it’s hardly going to be a solution to the problem of encryption that politicians so love to discuss. But it’s a good reminder that nothing — not even a special hyper-secure device — is impervious to the long arm of the Dutch law. [Motherboard]

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