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  1. jefftam68's Avatar
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    Default Efficient Data and BB Security

    Its often said that BB's have superior security over other devices. I haven't actually heard of anyone's iPhone being hacked or other types of security threats. If I had to explain to an iPhone user why my BB has better security than their phone, what would I say? And why does the average consumer care? Both phones can be password protected so where's the difference?

    Also, I also hear that data is transferred much more efficiently through the BB network and so for similar useage as an iPhone, the data consumption would be less. Why is this? How does one explain that and why does anyone care?
  2. Fubaz's Avatar
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  3. aiharkness's Avatar
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    I don't want to comment too much on the security question because I don't know how other devices compare to BlackBerrys in particular details. Suffice it to say that so far no malicious software is going to get on a BlackBerry smartphone unless a user puts it there. And a user can set the option to require the device password be entered in order to install software, which will then be required even when the BlackBerry is unlocked.

    On the matter of data efficiency, recall that BlackBerrys go back to a time before unlimited data plans, a time when data was capped and relatively expensive. I remember when I was shopping for my first BlackBerry the first place I went (Cingular) had a BlackBerry data plan that was 10 or 20MB for $30/mo. (This was a deciding factor in me choosing T-Moble, for unlimited data at less than 20 per month. I didn't look further.)

    BIS and BES servers compress data. Even the BlackBerry browser data is compressed. Data efficiency is a goal and a point of pride for RIM.

    I remember when BlackBerry Maps first came out. I read an article in which RIM was quoted talking about the vector graphics (or something like that) versus bit maps, and how much less data would be required because the app was not having to download the images, but only the data required for the app to calculate and draw the map. The article talked about RIM believing that data congestion would become a problem in the future and how RIM was working to maximize data efficiency. Yes, in the case of BlackBerry Maps, it isn't pretty, but good looks took a back seat to efficiency (maybe in the larger sense, to RIM's detriment).
  4. Tõnis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jefftam68 View Post
    If I had to explain to an iPhone user why my BB has better security than their phone, what would I say?
    In a nutshell:

    1. When a password is in use, the BlackBerry will wipe itself if a user-set number of incorrect passwords is exceeded (maximum of ten). This holds true even if the BlackBerry is connected to a computer with BlackBerry Desktop Software and the passwords are entered that way -- no way around it.

    2. When a password is in use, encryption is turned on, and the BlackBerry security settings are configured properly, the security of the data stored on a BlackBerry is ironclad. Because of the way BlackBerry security is implemented, even if someone attempts to read the BlackBerry's data directly from the hardware (circumventing the password), he won't be able to. All he will see is encrypted data. The password itself is needed to decrypt the data. Device security on other platforms isn't implemented this way. With other platforms' devices it's possible to use UFED equipment made by Cellebrite to easily download and view those devices' data.

    UFED Cellebrite
    MI police & UFED

    From the first linked article:

    "A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes."

    There's lots of discussion to be found on CrackBerry about this.
    Last edited by Tõnis; 01-17-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aiharkness View Post
    ... Suffice it to say that so far no malicious software is going to get on a BlackBerry smartphone unless a user puts it there. And a user can set the option to require the device password be entered in order to install software, which will then be required even when the BlackBerry is unlocked ...
    Terrific point!
  6. GingerSnapsBack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tõnis View Post
    In a nutshell:

    1. When a password is in use, the BlackBerry will wipe itself if a user-set number of incorrect passwords is exceeded (maximum of ten).
    My iPhone does the same thing. 10 tries with the wrong password and it resets itself. Most phones do that now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdSunshine View Post
    My iPhone does the same thing. 10 tries with the wrong password and it resets itself. Most phones do that now.
    Interesting. That's one of the complaints everyone always makes about BlackBerry: "BB sux! My friends were trying to guess my password and wiped my phone!" Apparently even iPhone (and "most" phone) users will have to be more careful around their prankster friends from now on lest their phones get wiped!
  8. jbs-horn's Avatar
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    Other platforms are converging on the BlackBerry security model. Most of the security advantages touted by RIM over the years have to do with a company's ability to protect its data from interception or other unintended disclosure in an enterprise setting. This takes two forms:

    1. Data to and from the device is encrypted and thus protected from interception.

    2. The company (using BES) has a high degree of control over the device and has the ability to track all activity using the device. The BES administrator can restrict installation of apps, can mandate that all email be conducted in plain text (no HTML), and can remotely wipe the device of all data. The adminstrator can therefore prevent installation of malware, not that any has yet been written for this platform, can monitor communications using the device by the employee to ensure that the employee isn't disclosing privileged or confidential company information, and can wipe and disable a device that has been lost or stolen or that is being used for improper purposes.

    Some but not all of those features are available for iOS. Some but not all of those features are relevant to consumers. Apple has made a judgment about what security features are most important to its customers and has enabled those. Its integration with Exchange servers provides enough security to satisfy an increasing number of enterprise customers.
    mithrazor likes this.
  9. mithrazor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbs-horn View Post
    Other platforms are converging on the BlackBerry security model. Most of the security advantages touted by RIM over the years have to do with a company's ability to protect its data from interception or other unintended disclosure in an enterprise setting. This takes two forms:

    1. Data to and from the device is encrypted and thus protected from interception.
    Number 1 is a huge plus for us Blackberry users. With security as a priority with RIM, most of their app's that they develop will be more secure. Especially when we're entering into an era where all of our personal information is on our smartphones.

    With NFC, we're going to be using our phones like credit cards. Have so much of our information on it. To a point where identity theft could be so much easier. All it takes is one disaster to regret it. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
  10. JR A's Avatar
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    To average issue, it doesn't make a difference.

    Then again, why be average?


    Seriously, BB security makes no difference to the broad majority of smartphone users.

    Efficient data transfer on the other hand could save some people money...
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