BlackBerry launches encrypted secure messaging service for enterprises

Mobile & tablets

by CBR Staff Writer| 17 June 2014

The messages are provided with random symmetric encryption keys for each message instead of one encryption key to the full conversation.

BlackBerry has launched a secure messaging service, BBM Protected, which is its first solution in the eBBM Suite to offer enterprise-class secure messaging.

BBM Protected claims to provide enhanced protection for messages sent between smartphones.

The app uses a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library, which provides random symmetric encryption keys for each message instead of one encryption key to the full conversation.

Messages between BBM Protected users are encrypted using a PGP like model where in the sender and recipient will have unique public/private encryption and signing keys.

It will make hacking messages more difficult as it requires cracking each of the encryption codes to snoop on the entire conversations.

A Triple DES 168-bit BBM scrambling key encrypts messages on the sender's smartphone, and is used to authenticate and decrypt messages on the recipient's phone.

BlackBerry said in a statement, "BBM Protected enables employees to use the same app to securely message colleagues inside the company for work as they do to chat and share with family and friends outside the company."

"Secure BBM Protected chats aren't limited to users inside the company; employees can chat securely with BBM Protected users at others companies too - they do not need to be on the same BES server and no federation between servers is required."

BBM Protected will be available in BlackBerry smartphones running BB0S 6.0 or later or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode.

The company plans to release BBM Protected for BlackBerry 10, iOS and Android devices later this year.

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