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BlackBerry details the security measures it baked into the Android-powered Priv

BlackBerry only makes secure phones, but can they really make an Android phone that is as private as those running their own OS? It seems so, and they are giving us a peek at their strategy.

Published onOctober 20, 2015


I think we all agree that security concerns regarding the Android platform are a bit over-hyped. Some significant threats (like the Stagefright vulnerability) show up from time to time, but those are rare. The average user should be fine as long as he knows how to identify a potentially dangerous situation. Google and other manufacturers have worked hard to make the platform more adept to privacy and security, but those who really want a bullet-proof system will likely trust BlackBerry more.

This is what makes the BlackBerry PRIV so exciting. This new phone is supposed to finally merge the user-friendliness and app support Android has to offer with the full security measures BlackBerry once ruled the mobile market with. Let’s take a moment to remember the times when the PRIV was nothing but a rumor. The world went nuts when BlackBerry CEO John Chen mentioned he would consider building an Android device if they could make it as secure as they have made BB10.


Now that the BlackBerry PRIV is public, we have to wonder if they actually accomplished meeting the standards all those business men and government officials need. Hey, maybe President Obama can have an Android phone now!

BlackBerry knows many of you are wondering how they managed to make Android as secure as they claim it is. I mean… they are calling the thing the PRIV (which stands for private), after all. The manufacturer has taken it to their official blog to clear all our doubts. Let’s look into some of the details.

  • BlackBerry’s Hardware Root of Trust, a unique manufacturing process that injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware, providing a secure foundation for the entire platform.
  • Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain, which uses the embedded keys to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications in order to make sure they haven’t been tampered with.
  • A hardened Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security.
  • FIPS 140-2 compliant full disk encryption on by default to protect your privacy.
  • The BlackBerry Infrastructure, a secure distributed global network that transmits petabytes of encrypted data to and from the world’s most powerful leaders and professionals.
  • BES12, the leading Enterprise Mobility Management platform used by the world’s most powerful governments and corporations.

In addition to these security measures, the BlackBerry PRIV offers seamless integration to Android for Work. They also mention the device comes with DTEK pre-installed. This app is said to help users manage and secure their privacy.

Liking what you read? BlackBerry is teasing that they will unveil more about their security measures in the coming weeks. The BlackBerry PRIV has more to offer than a gorgeous keyboard, guys! And we know some of you will definitely appreciate all of this.

I’ll be honest, though, I will probably get it, and it is mostly for that keyboard! Are any of you buying one? And if so, is security and privacy a big reason for your decision?

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