BB10 Might Fail UK Government High Security Testing

By Gary Cutlack on at

The new BlackBerry ecosystem has might have failed a government security test, meaning it is, for now, unlikely to win itself any large-scale government orders. George Osborne's going to have to carry on using his insecure ASDA Alcatel for the time being.

The tests were supposedly carried out by the Communications-Electronics Security Group, which ratifies hardware and software for use in official capacities. The previous BB 7.1 OS was passed for used in high-up governmental positions, but the latest BB10 software and the Z10 it runs on has, according to the Guardian, failed to meet certain unspecified security criteria.

Which is a little odd, as secure, switchable account management specifically designed for business power-users was one of the OS's core aims. BlackBerry has confirmed claims that CESG stamped a big "FAIL" in red in across the BB10's application, but has not provided any more detail about what went wrong or when we can expect to see a more compliant software update arrive. [Guardian]

Update: We've received a statement from a GCHQ spokes person regarding the supposed BlackBerry failings. Seems the government hasn't gotten round to doing its full testing yet:

"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.".