Pentagon ready to approve Apple’s iOS for high security use

“The Department of Defense is expected in coming weeks to grant two separate, security approvals for Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, along with iPhones and iPads running Apple’s latest operating system, according to people familiar with the matter—moves that would boost the number of U.S. government agencies allowed to use those devices,” Will Connors reports for The Wall Street Journal. “One Samsung executive joked that perhaps once Samsung gets government approval for its new devices, the NSA could get U.S. President Barack Obama, well known as a BlackBerry and iPad user, to take up a Samsung device. ‘You never know,’ the NSA representative, Margaret Salter, responded, according to the notes. An NSA representative declined to comment.”

“The Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA, the agency that sanctions commercial technology for Pentagon use, is set to rule that Samsung’s Galaxy line of smartphones, preloaded with Samsung’s Knox security software, conforms with the Pentagon’s so-called Security Technology Implementation Guide, according to people familiar with the approval process,” Connors reports. “That would allow it to be used by some Pentagon agencies for things like sending and receiving internal emails, according to these people.”

Connors reports, “Separately, DISA is expected to rule that Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 6, conforms to a different security-requirement guide, these people said. That would allow iPhones and iPads to be used by military agencies for nonclassified communications, like email and Web browsing… Many government agencies—including some divisions of the U.S. military—have already approved iPhones and iPads for use. But the Pentagon certification would allow more security-sensitive government agencies at the Pentagon to start using them, and would allow more widespread use of the devices across government agencies… The two smartphone makers have to go through a different vetting process because Samsung’s phones rely on Google Inc.’s GOOG -0.50% Android operating system. Because that is used with an array of device makers, and is based on open-source software, it can be more vulnerable to security breaches. Apple’s operating system, meanwhile, is proprietary and viewed as more secure.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Convicted patent infringer Samsung’s (Google Android with yet another random coat of lipstick) security, or lack thereof, is a joke and the DoD would be smart to continue doing nothing more than laughing at it.

Furthermore, we’d say that it would be silly to even suggest that a U.S. President would choose an inferior foreign phone over an American product, except that, embarrassingly, this one does so already.

Related articles:
Canadian federal department warns government workers of BlackBerry insecurity – February 27, 2013
Security researcher labels nearly 300,000 Google Play Android apps as ‘high-risk’ – November 1, 2012
FBI’s Android security warning means Apple’s iPhone beats Android for BYOD enterprise – October 16, 2012
FBI issues warning over Android malware attacks – October 15, 2012
Researchers discover serious flaw in Android app security, say HTC and Samsung ignore issue – September 28, 2012
Apple’s iPhone has passed a key security threshold – August 13, 2012
Android permissions flaw allows eavesdropping, data theft, location tracking – December 2, 2011
Massive HTC Android security flaw leaves security expert speechless – October 2, 2011
Apple’s iOS unaffected by malware as Android exploits surge 76% – August 24, 2011
Android malware records phone calls; iPhone users unaffected – August 2, 2011
Symantec: Apple iOS offers ‘full protection,’ Google Android ‘little protection’ vs. malware attacks – June 29, 2011
Malware apps spoof Android Market to infect Android phones – June 21, 2011
Google forced to pull several malware-infested apps from Android market – June 8, 2011
Android malware sees explosive growth; even faster than with PCs – April 27, 2011
Virus-laden apps infest Google’s ‘open’ Android platform; iPhone unaffected – March 3, 2011
Security firm warns of new Android trojan that can steal personal information; iPhone unaffected – December 30, 2010
Trojan infects Android smartphones; iPhone unaffected – August 10, 2010
Millions of Android phone users slammed by malicious data theft app – July 29, 2010
Unlike proactive Apple, reactive Google doesn’t block malware from Android app store – June 4, 2010
Malware designed to steal bank information pops up in Google’s Android app store – January 11, 2010
Steve, buy that man an iPhone: Obama vows to keep his Blackberry despite security, legal concerns – January 8, 2009


  1. I hope the Fed stays away from Samsung phones (w/ Android).

    First, Samsung is a foreign company (has tie to foreign intelligence services – South Korea). How do we know for sure that no h/w presented in these phones designed for silent data capturing purpose??

    Second, we have Android OS. It’s existence serve no purpose other than funnel user data back to Google for advertisement enhancement purpose.

    Even these Samsung phones (and OS) are designated to be used in unclassified environment, foreign intelligence services can easily grab numbers of “unclassified” data off the unclassified network via multiple sources and get a pretty good picture of the current state of thought of the users and the associated US Gov organization.

    my 2 cents…

  2. “We’d say that it would be silly to even suggest that a U.S. President would choose an inferior foreign phone over an American product, except that, embarrassingly, this one does so already…”

    …because he hates America as evidenced by his and his wife’s statements over the years (“bitter clingers,” “first time I’ve ever been proud,” etc.), his total disdain for The Constitution, and his obvious intent to enslave as many as possible on government subsistence welfare.

    More taxpayer-funded welfare for child murdering and citizen maiming anti-American Muslim terrorist bombers!

      1. Reading posts from Fwhatever makes me embarrassed that he a member of the human race. Fwhatever is living justification of the need for universal background checks. The miasma of his poisoned, extremist, and potentially postal mentality exudes from nearly every one of his posts on this forum.

        1. re Fwhatever

          There’s a certain kind of person on MDN. I really have NO clue why they even come here and why they post anything at all. Fwhatever and I’m sure we all can immediately think of a few other examples. Clues:
          – use name-calling incessantly
          – use swearing incessantly
          – always use heavily emotional language and rarely give any actual THOUGHTS supported by actual LOGIC
          – NEVER use any language that acknowledges there may be other valid opinions such as, “In my opinion-” or “I think that-“.
          – Language is always absolutist. They apparently think they are some kind of fountain of absolute infallible truth.

          I theorize these people are like emotional cesspools of negativity and poison that swirl around, driven by raging currents and boil-overs of hormones. The poison is always looking for something to latch on to… some excuse to vomit (or dribble) out.

          They mistake their emotion-driven prejudices for thought. They mistake their hormone rage for thought. They mistake their prejudices for some kind ultimate truth; the only acceptable scenario is that they are 100% correct.

          I really can’t help wondering:
          – how old these people are
          – how they became such petulant, small-minded rage addicts.

          1. Well, it’s always been like this. Even back to the colonial days / civil war days, people tried to shout down those who disagreed with their opinion or view. The difference is, where there were important issues politicians did feel obligated to vote according to their constituency. The current political environment (and this is from local through federal) they vote according to the dollars plied by lobbyists.

    1. Or because Blackberry was approved by the NSA for security purposes but iOS and Android were not, so therefore President Obama was issued a Blackberry. As I recall, he had to switch to Blackberry after he was first elected.

      Not every decision made by a president has to do with politics.

  3. “We’d say that it would be silly to even suggest that a U.S. President would choose an inferior foreign phone over an American product, except that, embarrassingly, this one does so already…”

    First, F14T16, you’re an idiot with an extreme political agenda. You won’t stop, and MDN should ban you.

    Second, President Obama did NOT choose that Blackberry. It was chosen by others as a compromise. He wouldn’t give up his personal phone. He told the security organizations (the NSA among them) that they needed to provide him with a phone — and it had to be a smartphone *kind* of device. Those organizations gave him a specific implementation of the Blackberry. To portray it as President Obama actively choosing a non U.S. phone because he inherently hates the U.S. is truly asinine on ALL levels.

  4. I just talked to a man who works for GE Capital this past weekend, and he said GE Capital won’t allow them to use iPhones or Android phones because they don’t think they’re secure enough.

    Funny, iOS and Android are apparently secure enough for the Department of Defense, but not a mortgage lender? Sounds like someone’s IT department needs a swift kick in the pants.

  5. “One Samsung executive joked that . . .”

    Yea, if I were Samsung and I learned that the Pentagon was about to declare my Android phone as save and secure,
    I’d be laughing too!

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