US gives BlackBerry 10 security thumbs up

News by Tom Espiner

BlackBerry 10 has been awarded security clearance for use by US and Canadian government agencies.

BlackBerry 10 has been awarded security clearance for use by US and Canadian government agencies.

The BlackBerry 10 platform has been given FIPS 140-2 certification, a NIST standard, BlackBerry-maker RIM said in a statement on Thursday.

"Achieving FIPS 140-2 certification means that BlackBerry 10 is ready to meet the strict security requirements of government agencies and enterprises at launch," said RIM security product vice president Michael K. Brown.

FIPS 140 is a standard for certifying cryptographic modules, and certifies the BlackBerry 10 platform to be used to collect, store, transfer, share and disseminate sensitive information. The BlackBerry 10 platform consists of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 product.

BlackBerry products use AES 256-bit encryption, and in the past have been certified to be used by UK authorities by GCHQ information assurance branch CESG.

RIM has steadily lost global mobile market share to competitors such as Apple and Samsung. In Q3 2010 RIM's market share for devices was 2.9 per cent, dropping to just 1.9 per cent in Q2 2012, according to analyst firm Gartner.

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