1. theGrgH's Avatar
    With BBM nowadays running on WiFi, and on Android & iOS, without a need for connecting to a carrier having any special BlackBerry equipment installed, how is BBM traffic relayed? Is it now just using the normal Internet to directly reach the main Blackberry servers somewhere in Canada? If so, is there, at this point, any security advantage to using BBM over any other chat app that uses SSL between the client app and the company's server (e.g: WhatsApp/LINE assuming they properly implement SSL)? Is the information about how BBM works in this _article_ still relevant?

    Someone told me that BBM might be creating a sort of VPN-like connection between the BBM app on your device and BlackBerry's servers but I could not find any info regarding this. Does anyone know more about this?

    Please note: This question is purely technical, please don't bring up societal/ethical issues like who should and should not worry about being monitored, etc.
    Last edited by theGrgH; 01-16-14 at 05:40 AM.
    01-16-14 05:24 AM
  2. qbnkelt's Avatar
    Hi there. And welcome to Crackberry.

    This will be a very interesting thread.
    01-16-14 05:30 AM
  3. jafrul's Avatar
    Hmm.. makes me wonder too..

    Posted via Awesome Astro flying10.2.1.1925 on CB10. For a regular dose of Quotes, subscribe C001190A9 .
    01-16-14 05:36 AM
  4. bbhuh's Avatar
    No answer? I'm curious too...

    Sent from multiple devices using Tapatalk
    01-17-14 08:30 AM
  5. theGrgH's Avatar
    A mention of an "SSL Tunnel" here:
    How secure is the app? Encryption? - BlackBerry Support Community Forums

    Sounds from that reply like BBM is simply as secure as any other messaging app that implements SSL.
    01-21-14 03:45 AM
  6. MisterShark's Avatar
    I'd love to hear the additional questions about the security aspects of BBM as implemented on iOS and Android devices answered as well.

    For my group of friends I was the BBM 'pusher' and had to struggle a bit to get everyone to move from WhatsApp (which I had sold everyone on before BBM went cross-platform). I always like to bring to everyone's attention any news or supporting information why they can feel safe in their choice of taking my recommendation.

    Posted via CB10
    01-24-14 11:00 AM
  7. jrohland's Avatar
    Here is my educated guess:

    When you sign your BB10 into BBID, an encrypted tunnel is opened to your local BlackBerry Network Operations Center (NOC). That tunnel is used to push BBM, BB Protect and Print To Go traffic to your phone. That connection is also used to access BlackBerry World (payment information) and use Remote File Access. You can always tell when you are connected to the NOC because the BB icon is on your screen in the upper-right corner. If you don't have that icon, BBM, etc... will not work.

    Now, is Wi-Fi more or less secure than Wireless? No. It doesn't matter because the tunnel is encrypted and, those who would seek to intercept your BBM are very likely capturing traffic from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) in the same way they are capturing data from the carrier. If they have the technology to decrypt the tunnel traffic in real time, you can be very sure they can get the traffic.

    Of course when BES is used, this is somewhat different.
    01-24-14 11:14 AM
  8. jrohland's Avatar
    It's important to understand, BlackBerry has no way to find your phone so they can tell you when you have a BBM, etc... message. Even if they did have the IP address of your phone, carriers block all inbound data traffic from the Internet. To solve these problems, your phone establishes an outbound connection to the NOC as a tunnel. Once your phone opens the tunnel, the NOC can send you stuff and it does not need to know where your phone is or how it's connected.

    BlackBerry is not the only company doing this. ActiveSync and IMAP IDLE work the same way, as does WhatsApp and pretty much anything that can push notifications to your phone.

    In the old days, BlackBerry used BlackBerry Internet Services (BIS) to poll email servers every few seconds to see if you have email and would send a message to your phone to pickup the mail. Starting with BB10, BlackBerry stopped doing that because your phone establishes the connection to the email (and Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc...) directly. BlackBerry, wisely does not want to be the conduit for all your data traffic.
    01-24-14 11:26 AM

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