BlackBerry Launches Guardian Program for Added App Security, Acquires Voice Encryption Service Provider Secusmart

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By Sovan Mandal | August 1, 2014 2:07 PM EST

BlackBerry has stated its "Guardian" program will be extended to cover even those apps that have been downloaded from external app sources such as the Amazon app store. This, the company claimed, will provide for an extra layer of security for users by minimising risks of their BlackBerry 10 devices getting infected with malware.


A Canadian flag waves in front of a Blackberry logo at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

The BlackBerry Guardian program that incorporates Trend Micro's Mobile App Reputation Service, as mentioned in the company Business Blog, would be available free for users of the BlackBerry Classic along with other future BB 10 devices including the Passport. The company further revealed that exiting BB 10 users will be brought under the ambit of BB Guardian program via an update to their exiting BB 10 OS.

The development couldn't have come at a better time. There has been a recent discovery of a critical vulnerability that the mojority of Android devices are believed to be susceptible to. Much of it has to do with the unique identification of each app and the way it can be used to impersonate trusted application by hackers to carry out malicious acts.

As per Jeff Forristal, the chief technology officer at Bluebox Security that hit upon the key shortcoming in Android, anyone can come up with a security certificate imitating to have been certified by any of the hard coded certificates authorised by Android. This will grant the app with the malicious certificate the same rights and privileges as the authorised application.

Termed "Fake ID," such a security lapse can, in turn, allow the attackers full access to another app and the data it stores. In the worst case scenario, the entire device might have to face the brunt of the attack, warns Forristal, as reported in PC World.

Meanwhile, in a related development, BlackBerry has stated it has acquired Secusmart, a company that excels in providing voice and data security solutions. The German firm has been partners with BlackBerry in the pursuit of providing end-to-end security solutions to companies and governments but will now be under its direct control, mentions The Guardian.

Voice encryption has shot to the limelight in view of the mass international snooping as revealed by Edward Snowden, raising security and privacy issues on a worldwide scale.

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A Canadian flag waves in front of a Blackberry logo at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
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