iPhone hardened to handle military-grade secrets in UK; Android and Samsung deemed insufficient in security

“The iPhone 7 is being turned into a phone capable of safeguarding military-level secrets for the UK armed forces,” Nick Heath reports for TechRepublic. “Telecoms giant BT is hardening the security of the device to allow UK military personnel to use it to discuss state secrets and for storing sensitive data.”

“Describing the iPhone 7 as the ‘device of choice’ for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defence at BT, said the phone will be capable of being switched between different modes, depending on the sensitivity of the call,” Heath reports. “BT is also working with the MoD to create ‘secure storage containers’ on the device to hold sensitive data, he said.”

Heath reports, “Describing the work as ‘going very well,’ he said BT originally began working with an Android device, the Samsung Note 4. ‘But as more and more development and testing was done, the security wasn’t deemed to be sufficient, so that’s why we moved [to iPhone].'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smart choice.

If it’s not an iPhone, it’s an insecure iPhone wannabe.

SEE ALSO:
The cost of free: More than one million Google Android devices hit by malware – November 30, 2016
Secret backdoor in U.S. Android phones sent location, text, contact data to China – November 15, 2016
Google to pay $5.5 million for sneaking around Apple’s privacy settings to collect user data – August 31, 2016
Cybersecurity researchers: Fitness trackers vulnerable to tracking, privacy breaches – but not Apple Watch – February 2, 2016
EFF files complaint asking for federal investigation; says Google broke privacy pledge, tracked students – December 1, 2015
Tim Cook gets privacy and encryption: We shouldn’t surrender them to Google – June 4, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook champions privacy, blasts ‘so-called free services’ – June 3, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013
Google Street View cars grabbed locations of cellphones, computers – July 26, 2011
Consumer Watchdog calls for probe of Google’s inappropriate relationship with Obama administration – January 25, 2011
Wired: Google, CIA Invest in ‘future’ of Web monitoring – July 29, 2010
37 states join probe into Google’s questionable Wi-Fi data collection – July 22, 2010
Google Street View Wi-Fi data included passwords and email – June 18, 2010

11 Comments

  1. This was a few years ago, but I remember the U.S. military deciding to work with Android devices for their secure comms because Android was open and iOS was not.

    Brings to mind the MDN quote: “Open, in all the wrong ways.”

      1. As of a report I saw this morning, he is still using his private Android. If the Leader of the Free World is carrying one of those things into meetings, it’s a good thing that there aren’t really any hackers… as he has told us repeatedly.

    1. The issue and events you reference were before the secure enclave in the iPhone. Also Apple was not willing to customize iOS. Lastly, Apple was not willing to modify the designs for the secure enclave with was in design back then. Further, when the decision was finally announced the trade off between iOS and Adroid OS (as well as others) had been going on for a couple years. It wasn’t a decision made in a few weeks or even a few months.

      The U.S. DoD and IC decided that they could get Google to make a unique version of the Android OS that the U.S. DoD and IC could modify at will. What evolved was (and is) a variant of Android OS that is not 100% compatible with some typical apps that run on Android OS.

      Could Apple offer something better today? Yes. Could the U.S. DoD and IC switch to iPhones? Yes. However, that transition would be painful for all involved — even Apple, and it would likely take multiple years to implement.

    1. You might note that Trump has literally embraced Director Comey and asked him to stay on. The Director will be speaking at South by Southwest Tech. That should be fun.

      1. I read that. Comey made an incredible fool of himself, IMHO, regarding a lot of things. Ignoring the potential political shenanigans, the guy is plain old incompetent for his job and should be thrown out. Perhaps Mr. Trump hasn’t figured that out and is acting under the assumption that Comey helped get him elected.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.