U.S. Military wants full disk encryption for Apple iPhone

“The US military wants to take no security chances with the smartphones it is deploying,” Michael Cooney reports for Network World. “That’s why the engineers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) today said they are ‘looking to discover new technologies and methods to support full disk and system encryption of the commercial mobile devices — specifically Apple and Android platforms – to include a pre-boot environment to load the operating system.'”

“Securing smartphones has been an ongoing project for the military. In January the US Air Force said it was looking to decide whether or not to use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) smart phones,” Cooney reports. “The Army has made smartphone development a priority as well.”

Cooney reports, “The military is very interested in getting smartphones out in the field. Last year the Pentagon awarded $6.4 million to the Corporation for National Research Initiatives to build a smartphone app store.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “krquet” for the heads up.]


  1. Could this be the foot in the door needed to pry our government and military from the deathly grasp of Microsoft? God, I hope so. I’ve been waiting for this for like 15 years.

    1. Actually its to give them more options than just the BlackBerrry!

      I guess they still technically could have some old PocketPC devices but currently the BlackBerry is the only mobile device that has enough security for the military, and even at that, they only allow “Restricted” information on the devices so even the Black Berry does not fully meet the requirements they desire.

      They are hoping to develop the software for iPhones and Android devices so that they can allow “Confidential” and “Secret” data on a mobile platform.

  2. But iPhone already has “full disk encryption” — that is why “remote erase” only has to delete the key and all information on the flash drive would turn unreadable.

    1. Apple’s full disk encryption is not considered “Cryptographically secure”.

      The encryption on the iPhone was made specifically for fast remote disabling of data access.

      In security there are 3 primary focuses.
      Integrity, authenticity and availability.

      The iPhone only covers Availability partially.

      If i stole your iPhone and removed the SIM before you realized it was gone you’d have no way to remote erase the data I just took.

      Info: http://www.encryptsolutions.com/2011/01/25/apple-and-their-elusive-full-disk-encryption-solution/

  3. I am getting tired of making money for you to read 1 paragraph. You state read more in the full article, when I click the link I find one additional paragraph. Is that the way you treat your friends?

    1. That’s how it works, MDN summarizes the important Mac related info, then gives you a link with a descriptive phrase such as;

      Read more @ link

      Read much more @ link

      Think before you click @ link

      Highly recommended you click @ link

      etc etc etc

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