BlackBerry PIN-To-PIN Messenger Is ‘The Most Vulnerable Method Of Communication’: Public Safety Canada

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By Vijaykumar Meti | February 28, 2013 7:39 PM EST

Public Safety Canada, an agency of Canadian government which is tasked to oversee cyber-security across all federal departments, has issued a memo warning for federal workers who communicate using BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN messaging service.

According to Canada.com, the memo says PIN-to-PIN messenger is "the most vulnerable method of communication on a BlackBerry" and repeatedly advises the government workers to avoid sending PIN-to-PIN messages on their BlackBerry smartphones.

The memo states that the PIN-to-PIN messaging service is not "suitable for exchanging sensitive messages." Information which is sent using the service could be inadvertently leaked and read by any BlackBerry users.

"Although PIN-to-PIN messages are encrypted, they key used is a global cryptographic 'key' that is common to every BlackBerry device all over the world," Public Safety Canada official stated in the memo. "Any BlackBerry device can potentially decrypt all PIN-to-PIN messages sent by any other BlackBerry device."

The memo also states that that "Cellular telephones/BlackBerrys/PDAs are not secure and are frequently monitored by amateurs and professionals alike."

Almost two-third of mobile users in the Canadian federal government prefers to use BlackBerry smartphones while one-third uses Apple iPhone and Android running devices.

According to an earlier report by Postmedia, the government spends over $40 million on mobile devices annually across Canada. The number of government issued BlackBerry smartphones has been increased by 14.5 percent - almost 90,000 devices in August 2012 while it was only 78,000 in September 2011.  

"BlackBerry communications remain the most secure, preferred mobile communications used by governments worldwide. In fact, BlackBerry uniquely offers scalable, customizable security options for businesses and governments which allow them to apply their desired level of security," BlackBerry spokesperson told BGR in an email.

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