Here's how BlackBerry secured Android on the Priv

BlackBerry has offered some additional information about the steps it took in making sure that the Priv by BlackBerry was secure, even while running Android. For years, BlackBerry has been known for security, its operating system was built around it. With the switch to Android on the Priv, some were left concerned about how BlackBerry planned to stay true to its roots in making sure that the upcoming smartphone was as secure as the rest.

Here are some of the changes BlackBerry made to make sure the Android-powered Priv was as secure as you'd expect:

  • 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, the Priv integrates with Android for Work, allowing a separation of work and personal data and applications. You can manage and protect your privacy with the built-in BlackBerry DTEK application. DTEK will help you see which personal data is accessed by apps, how secure it is based on password strength, encryption settings and more. BlackBerry will continue to detail features of the Priv in the upcoming weeks.

Source: BlackBerry

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.
49 Comments
  • So uh no one's rooting this thing? I bet tin foil jerry is excited about that Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither.” ― Benjamin Franklin True in life 250 years ago as well as today, and true in smartphones as well. No root? No buy for me. Sorry, I just dont care for your security, I want my flexibility. That sucks, because I really like the slider design and the size of this phone.
  • Seems like you're just gonna have to stay on the insecure Android phones then. Sorry mate. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No problem, I am more than happy to. I keep the nuclear plans and all my trade secrets on my laptop ;)
  • I can dig that. World domination is yours. ;) Posted via the AC App on my BlackBerry® Passport
  • until your laptop broke or hard-drive stopped. You still have to pay tax, don't you?
  • No offense, but you guys gotta get off this BlackBerry security nonsense. It is a talking point that the company has used to keep customers, but it is demonstrably untrue. Take BBM for example: https://www.eff.org/secure-messaging-scorecard Also, the NSA has reportedly had access for years: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/7/4706018/nsa-reportedly-can-access-secur... As we all know, it is impossible for the government to have a backdoor that criminals can't get through. This all led me to believe that BlackBerry is no more secure than Android or IOS. It's all propaganda. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The here's the 2nd source reposted: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/7/4706018/nsa-reportedly-can-access-secur... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think bb10 ended consumer security as it no longer routes through the BIS server or NOC, it's really only secure for enterprise on a BES server. Something bb fans seem to not acknowledge. But, I think their argument about security is more about privacy, now. Not really security from outside people, they have transitioned to whining and misunderstanding about the way Google, Apple or Windows collects and uses your personal information for showing ads to you. Even if bbm now does the same thing, and a ton of the bb10 apps have been found to track/use personal information against the users knowledge.
  • You are right, but I have to make one additional clarification: Back in 2013, the NSA could access encrypted data in BES (BlackBerry's paid enterprise solution), as well, although it required a sustained operation. I'm assuming that they've made even more progress since then, but what we already know is enough to prove that no smartphone or server is impenetrable. People should pick whatever smartphone they like, but that privacy and security nonsense is complete bullshit. http://m.spiegel.de/international/world/a-921161.html Posted via the Android Central App
  • I dont think anyone is saying that BB is secure. The topic was that Root access is more important to at least some people than security... Anyhow ont hat topic, nothing is secure. Not Windows, not Mac, not IOS, not Android, not BBOS10, not BBOS7, not WebOS, Palm OS, Symbian, Win mobile. None of it. If someone is that worried about security they need to stay the hell off the internet, because the whole thing is insecure... Or they could just breath in and out and keep repeating and move on with life LOL.
  • Thanks for your input, bro. That is exactly what most people were referring to. I was speaking directly to BlackB_G and his reference to insecure android phones. Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's not what Ben Franklin said and certainly not on point with this example... Regardless of the misquoting, the message you want to get across is clear. A secure phone without customization is not what everyone wants with an android phone.
  • Agreed. This is as bad or worse than the phone to car analogies people use. Plus, if your not going to root, don't you want an unrootable phone? It's only a matter of time until somebody infects a popular GAPPS package with some terrible code and screws the whole rootable phone anyway. Pants
  • LOL. it was a joke. But yes, that phrase has been misquoted so many ways I don't recall what the original was, but they are all basically driving the same point. Here is a bunch right here. http://www.whatourforefathersthought.com/Quotes.html
  • Yeah I wouldn't be expecting a Cyanogen rom for it any time soon. Though I bet someone will crack it sooner or later. Makes total sense to me. Shipping this thing with a fastboot unlockable bootloader is not not what you want in a secure phone, and not what blackberry is trying to sell. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Hopefully someone can crack it, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I remember my droid x, the bootloader had 2048-bit encryption!!! My S5 still hasnt been cracked with an 18k bounty. Bootstrapping is also not a crack IMO... Gross.
  • Yikes! If they can't crack a phone like the S5 (popular, so more people likely to try) then maybe they won't be able to crack the Priv. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Verizon and AT&T note 4 are also unrooted with a huge bounty on them as well. Pants
  • It makes total sense to me too but I bet well be reading xda about people trying to rip into the phone. Posted from my Nexus 6/Nexus 7 2013/Surface Pro 3
  • Sounds like a direction that more companies need to go in Posted via the Android Central App
  • Will be interesting to see if businesses pick these up again. I remember when my corporation got rid of them back in 2004.
  • Sweet they dropped blackberry before they ever made a smartphone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • No rooting and likely slow updates :-/ Posted via the Android Central App
  • It makes sense though since they want to keep that blackberry level of security. And slow updates makes sense as well since updates can have loop holes and what not so that way they can ensure it's secure. Makes sense to me at least. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Especially considering how bad some of Googles code has been lately. Pants
  • Google is the worst when it comes to that. via AC App on
    VZW Moto X DE/N7
  • Some users are okay with that. Moto X 2013 (US Cellular)
  • It would do BlackBerry good if they give users the option to decide the level of security. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Honestly, no it wouldn't. Having a mix of Blackberrys with different security levels being used would be a nightmare from a business perspective. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You can't have options and checkboxes everywhere!
  • So basically all they did was make it like Samsung and Blackphone as far as the kernel and everything else has to do with BES12.
  • I always root my Samsung devices because the "out of the box" experience is horrible and it can easily be rectified with the right ROM. Having said that, I don't mind not being able to root this BB if the software experience is good to begin with. Hopefully, it will be a fluid experience that won't necessitate root. Note 4 vs Note 5 Speed Comparison: http://youtu.be/MYkTxA7dcEY
  • This should be no surprise for BlackBerry anyways. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ugh... BB is in a tight spot, they are know for security and this is what they do, but this almost drive me away.
    I won't be buying day one, unless i know you can switch the security off.
    I really want this just for the awesome hardware.
    At least sell a dev edition if its blackberrys way or the highway :) please!
  • Can't wait to slide into one of these. Posted via Android Central App
  • Ewww. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Not if I slide into it first! -Posted via the Android Central App on my G4-
  • It's pretty simple. If you don't want security BlackBerry is not and never was for you. Security is Blackberry's key advantage and they won't break for the minority that wants to root their phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hope the separation is like I hear they had on blackberry phones. Never used one before but a lot of companies have access to wipe and change settings on your phone if you sign in with a company email. I just started working for a company that does this. I'd hate to quit one day and have my phone wiped because they don't want me having access to data that's on my phone. Old BB phones had this solved, hope this is brought here as well. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yes, you'd think BlackBerry would bring BlackBerry Balance to this device too. My employer is on BES. With BlackBerry BYOD and unregulated the phones, Balance is turned on. But iPhones on BYOD basically sign a waiver agreeing to things like Siri is disabled and they can wipe the entire device remotely if you are terminated. Posted via the Android Central App on my BlackBerry Passport
  • Someone will root this device believe that. Anyone remember dingle berry on the playbook? That was BlackBerry software too. This will have a bounty on it day one and devs will scamper for the bragging rights and acknowledgement! Posted via the MATERIAL AC App
  • That one exploit on an early OS, BlackBerry software, that was patched nearly immediately and never found a new exploit? Yeah. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Someone will root this device believe that. Anyone remember dingle berry on the playbook? That was BlackBerry software too. This will have a bounty on it day one and devs will scamper for the bragging rights and acknowledgement!, b Posted via the MATERIAL AC App
  • At this point, the advantage of blackberry is security. Rooting erodes that. If you want to root a phone then go with any other phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can see this checking the box for a lot of companies. Blackberry is going back to their roots, and that's their only chance for survival. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Palm Pre. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Most of the people sharing their opinion on here is not their target market. I love my note 5 but for several years was a diehard BlackBerry user and an advocate for security. This phone won't be revolutionary by any means but if they still exist, there was a niche high demand for a secures android device toting a BlackBerry keyboard. I for one won't be getting it but would love to hold one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • count me in I'm in Posted via the Android Central App