BlackBerry explains how the Priv stays secure on the Android platform

BlackBerry explains how the Priv stays secure on the Android platform
There's a fair amount of anticipation for BlackBerry's Priv slider, for a number of reasons. Not only does it have a sliding physical keyboard and a fairly strong assortment of internal hardware, but it also includes Google's ubiquitous Android software. CEO John Chen quipped back in June that BB would only run with Android if his company's stringent security and privacy standards could be preserved, and considering the open source nature of Android, many will be wondering if such promises can still be met. To address the situation, BlackBerry has delivered a blog post that outlines the measures in place to keep the device as secure as possible. 

Entitled PRIV is for Private: How BlackBerry Secures the Android Platform, the article goes into some detail on just how BlackBerry manages to retain its reputation for providing a secure, private environment. With a strong enterprise following, this is such a crucial aspect for BlackBerry.

True to Chen's earlier sentiments, it would seem that BlackBerry has really done its homework. At the core of its effort to provide a secure user experience is the Hardware Root of Trust, which bakes cryptographic keys into the hardware. The BlackBerry Priv also includes Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain, which collectively verify every facet of hardware and software to ensure that nothing has been unduly modified. There's also what's described as a "hardened Linux kernel", while full-disk encryption is enabled by default. Needless to say, rooting or flashing a custom ROM on the Priv is almost certainly going to be out of the question. 

The Priv touts itself as the best of both worlds: a device offering BlackBerry's "world-renowned security model" beneath the recognizable face of Google's Android. It's been said that the handset isn't aimed at your typical consumer, and with such an emphasis on security, the company is vying for the corporate and government entities that have long depended upon the BlackBerry name. That said, it's hard for consumers not to be excited about a BlackBerry running Android with full Google Play access; even if -- as some feel -- it's being released several years later than it should have. 

The blog post, which can be read in its entirety at the source, is well worth checking out if the Priv is on your radar. 

source: BlackBerry

Related phones

Priv
  • Display 5.4" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 18 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3410 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

32 Comments

1. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

Good luck making Android secure!

5. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

they've done it already!

9. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Is this supposed to be a joke or what?

27. Veigald

Posts: 290; Member since: Jan 13, 2012

Android security is a joke, indeed. It makes Windows ME look like an impenetrable bastion. For normal users the risk isn't that great, but it's really incredible that so many companies dare let their employees use Android phones on their network, given the immense security issues Android has. Android has some good sides, but security sure isn't one of them. Kudos to BlackBerry if they managed to make Android secure.

2. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

"Needless to say, rooting or flashing a custom ROM on the Priv is almost certainly going to be out of the question.." This is like inviting those Android enthusiast to break into their security.Very bold BlackBerry..

4. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

yeah, it's a nice challenge for the rooters and flashers... but, what if BB rules rooting/flashing as illegal on the Priv?

7. imnotascammer

Posts: 160; Member since: Aug 22, 2012

Like they'll sue anyone who'll try? Nope. Not gonna happen. Buyers of Priv have every right to do whatever he/she want with his/her purchase.

17. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Companies do that, their response is, "you just void your warranty " that's it.

8. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Basically. "At the core of its effort to provide a secure user experience is the Hardware Root of Trust, which bakes cryptographic keys into the hardware" "The BlackBerry Priv also includes Verified Boot and Secure Bootchain" I dont know alot about this stuff but I believe some of this was there before BB got involved, just not many OEMs used it. That also sounds like the eFuse setup Motorola and a few others have. And MS with their 360 console. In MS case ppl had to either go thru the disc drive or solder stuff with the mobo. Regardless it took fiddling with the hardware, wasnt strictly software. In Moto's case it took getting hands on software keys...something that had to be leaked IIRC. Either way...kudos to BB helping make Android more secure. For them at least. Pretty sure it will get used by other Android OEMs tho.

24. EnigmaticPsychotic

Posts: 70; Member since: Nov 26, 2013

No the Bold was nothing like this.

3. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

wow. Finaly a secure Android phone! now we'll see how iFans will bash the Priv, claiming iOS more secure and Android is full of malware. Go BB!

13. Rafishant

Posts: 398; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

John Chen Interview at Mobile/Code: Walt Mossberg: Are you willing to say you have the most secure Android phone? Is becoming an Android phone maker a path to profitability? Chen: We're probably the same level as Samsung's Knox. The only other commercial phone that can say they have the same or better than us is maybe the BlackPhone. It is just as secure as Galaxy and less secure than BlackPhone.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 22191; Member since: May 28, 2014

You keep posting this without posting what Chen said when he clarified this statement. You obviously have an agenda here, and it's trolling. http://m.crackberry.com/john-chen-clears-air-regards-comments-made-codemobile?utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=navigation&utm_source=cb BlackPhone was hacked in about five minutes. http://www.hackersnewsbulletin.com/2014/08/nsa-proof-blackphone-hacked-5-minutes.html Also, BlackBerry is who Samsung turned to so KNOX can be secure, so your point on that has been rendered invalid. http://el.blackberry.com/samsungknox So it's more secure than the Galaxy line of phones, and I'd also s more secure than Blackphone.

19. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Jussaying, the date of his membership dates to when kamehameha was gone, and he replies at night for us/morning for China time, and the constant bash towards blackberry. If I had to guess that's kamehameha's new account, but that's just me.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 22191; Member since: May 28, 2014

Agreed. If not him, then another one of the banned trolls of BlackBerry articles.

25. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

*sigh* I never seem to go away, but I also think it could be kame because of his lack of proof/links to back up his arguments

23. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3145; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Nah, this new troll has better English than Kamehameha.

26. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Lmao ditto on that, or maybe the Rosetta stone is actually worth the money

6. kamrosh

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 21, 2013

I am tired of reading about blackberry Priv since last January, but there is still no launch date announced. Come on BB we need it now, not in end of 2016. I am due to buy a smartphone as my z30 is 2 years old now and waiting Priv to be available. Still how long Blackberry......?????

16. meanestgenius

Posts: 22191; Member since: May 28, 2014

Priv will be launched in November of this year. It's launching in the UK on November 6th.

10. 497362

Posts: 60; Member since: Aug 27, 2015

secure android huh? don't count your chickens before they have hatched.

11. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

already hatched, dude

12. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

You probably believe Linux desktop OS's are the most insecure too huh....

14. MobileAddict

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 08, 2015

jroc74: what is the most secure os?

18. Bernoulli

Posts: 4361; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Deez nuts.

32. Plutonium239

Posts: 1230; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

The most secure mainstream OS? Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10.

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 22191; Member since: May 28, 2014

Excellent methods of securing Android, and I'm sure BlackBerry will only implement more as time goes on. Eagerly anticipating the release of this handset.

22. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

OK this secures the OS but what about all the malware that we keep hearing about? Although I wonder about those reports because neither I nor anybody I know ever seems to be affected by these "dangerous" things.

28. shinywindow unregistered

Those nuts are very secure indeed lol

29. shinywindow unregistered

And congrats to bb for not putting out another I turd copy styled phone.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.