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BlackBerry Refutes Claims Of Broken Encryption: Our Smartphones Are 'Secure As They Have Always Been'

18 January 2016, 9:51 am EST By Menchie Mendoza Tech Times
BlackBerry said that its devices are still secure and private just as they've always been, despite recent claims that the Dutch Police was able to crack the encryption of its phones. The company also reiterated that it has no back doors.  ( BlackBerry I Google Plus )

BlackBerry said that the Dutch Police's claim on how they were able to break the encryption on its devices is nothing but a false report.

As a way to assure its users, the company added that its smartphones are as secure and private as ever, while giving out several factors that could have contributed to the encryption.

"There have been recent media reports that police-affiliated groups in the Netherlands have been able to 'crack' the encryption protecting e-mails and other data that are stored on BlackBerry devices," wrote BlackBerry in a blog post.

For those unfamiliar with the matter, we reported that the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) had attested that while the data from BlackBerry devices are encrypted, they remain susceptible to hacking and organized criminal groups can take advantage of that.

Tuscha Essed, a press officer from the NFI, said they are "capable of obtaining encrypted data from BlackBerry PGP devices."

These devices from BlackBerry which are designed with PGP-encryption can be easily purchased online. They are mostly touted as the preferred devices for those who are keen on gaining a more secured way to communicate. They are certainly not considered among those regular phones that have fancy features.

The PGP encryption feature offers a security measure that allows its users to keep their emails, texts and files more secured by adding a password.

A number of BlackBerry PGP smartphone vendors had also claimed that their handsets are secured and showed no signs of vulnerability.

BlackBerry admitted that details on the exact device which showed a broken encryption are left unknown. There is also no way for the company to describe how it was configured, managed or protected. Even other details such as the nature of the decrypted communications remained unclear as well.

However, BlackBerry gave out several factors that could have contributed to the encryption issue. These include the user's lack of security behavior, a third party application that is not secure, and whether there is any user consent involved which allowed the encryption to occur.

"If such an information recovery did happen, access to this information from a BlackBerry device could be due to factors unrelated to how the BlackBerry device was designed," said BlackBerry.

Lastly, BlackBerry confirmed that its devices have no backdoors. As device passwords are not stored, there is no way that these can be shared with the police or with anyone else. So long as users maintain the company's recommended security practices, their BlackBerry devices will always be secure and private.

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