UN­DER-THE-HOOD SE­CU­RITY

HWM (Malaysia) - - LEARN -

While this re­quires lit­tle to no ac­tion on your part, it's still im­por­tant to know what other steps Black­Berry has taken in or­der to keep your An­droid-based PRIV se­cure.

First off, PRIV has some­thing called Hard­ware Root of Trust – a unique man­u­fac­tur­ing process that in­jects cryp­to­graphic keys into the de­vice hard­ware, pro­vid­ing a se­cure foun­da­tion for the en­tire An­droid plat­form. Fol­low­ing that is a Ver­i­fied Boot and Se­cure Bootchain, which uses the em­bed­ded keys to ver­ify ev­ery layer of the de­vice from hard­ware to An­droid OS to ap­pli­ca­tions in or­der to make sure they haven't been tam­pered with. Wrap­ping it is a full-disk en­cryp­tion.

Wait, if all this is pos­si­ble, why didn't Google in­clude en­cryp­tion prior to Black­Berry's so­lu­tion?

Dave Klei­der­ma­cher, Black­Berry's chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer, ex­plained in a Ven­ture­Beat ar­ti­cle about Black­Berry's un­der­the-hood se­cu­rity and why it of­fers a lit­tle more than what An­droid OS could. We para­phrase what he said that gets the essence of Black­Berry's su­pe­ri­or­ity in se­cu­rity and why it's pos­si­ble with the PRIV.

“The al­go­rithm for mea­sur­ing au­then­tic­ity, for ex­am­ple, you don't want to run on (older) An­droid OSes. Google, re­ally from Lol­lipop, started to max­i­mally lev­er­age what they call the trust-ex­e­cu­tion en­vi­ron­ment…it's a trusted area to run and store crit­i­cal things like en­cryp­tion keys, so that they are bet­ter pro­tected than if, say, they were stored on the An­droid file sys­tem. Be­ing able to do that was made eas­ier.”

It sounds like mar­ket­ing speak, but by say­ing that their own se­cu­rity mea­sures are bet­ter and deeper than what tech-gi­ant Google of­fered (un­til Lol­lipop came along) on­record is a good in­di­ca­tor of the work poured into se­cur­ing the PRIV for user pri­vacy.

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HWM

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FE­BRU­ARY 2016

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