04-09-14 11:04 AM
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  1. szlevi's Avatar
    In an otherwise also very interesting DER SPIEGEL interview Hayden touched on the subject of Obama's BlackBerry:

    Hayden: I am not going to make that conclusion. What I am going to say, though, is that you could see circumstances like that where that might make it more rather than less attractive to do. In 2008, when President Obama was elected, he had a BlackBerry. We thought, oh God, get rid of it. He said, "No, I am going to keep it." So we did some stuff to it to make it a little more secure. We're telling the guy who was going to soon be the most powerful man in the most powerful country on Earth that if in his national capital he uses his cell phone, his BlackBerry, countless number of foreign intelligence services are going to listen to his phone calls and read his e-mails. It's just the way it is.
    Read more: SPIEGEL Interview with Former NSA Director Michael Hayden - SPIEGEL ONLINE
    sentimentGX4 likes this.
    03-28-14 10:44 AM
  2. pkcable's Avatar
    Notice he's the EX NSA Chief now.
    03-28-14 10:48 AM
  3. FairlightRacing's Avatar
    Before anyone takes that out of context he is saying "get rid of it" as in "get rid of any mobile communications device" because the only secure line is a hard line on a controlled classified network. In other words, this is not an issue of a BlackBerry not being secure, or another mobile phone being a better option, this is an issue of a communications device and network that is not 100% controlled by the U.S. Government and therefore potentially insecure.
    03-28-14 10:55 AM
  4. Sith_Apprentice's Avatar
    Before anyone takes that out of context he is saying "get rid of it" as in "get rid of any mobile communications device" because the only secure line is a hard line on a controlled classified network. In other words, this is not an issue of a BlackBerry not being secure, or another mobile phone being a better option, this is an issue of a communications device and network that is not 100% controlled by the U.S. Government and therefore potentially insecure.
    There are mobile devices rated for classified voice and data. BlackBerry, as of now, is not one of them.
    03-28-14 10:58 AM
  5. sentimentGX4's Avatar
    Thanks for this article! It is a silver bullet against the absurd NSA conspiracy theory claiming the American government is trying to take Blackberry down because it is too "secure". It also puts to rest the almost equally outlandish argument claiming Blackberry is unhackable. "Countless number of foreign intelligence services" have access to Blackberry.

    I know that some guy is going to say "But that was in 2008!"; but, you can't convince everybody. Blackberry was never 100% secure and it never will be. Most "secure mobile solution" is laughable title of say only 50% security.
    03-28-14 12:37 PM
  6. crazigee's Avatar
    Thanks for this article! It is a silver bullet against the absurd NSA conspiracy theory claiming the American government is trying to take Blackberry down because it is too "secure". It also puts to rest the almost equally outlandish argument claiming Blackberry is unhackable. "Countless number of foreign intelligence services" have access to Blackberry.

    I know that some guy is going to say "But that was in 2008!"; but, you can't convince everybody. Blackberry was never 100% secure and it never will be. Most "secure mobile solution" is laughable title of say only 50% security.
    Those are the same conspiracy nuts that claim the moon landing was faked and that there are aliens being hidden at Groom Lake. Just ignore them. They make all BlackBerry users seem like nutty fanaticals.

    Posted using my Z10 via CB10
    03-28-14 01:24 PM
  7. BitPusher2600's Avatar
    Thanks for this article! It is a silver bullet against the absurd NSA conspiracy theory claiming the American government is trying to take Blackberry down because it is too "secure". It also puts to rest the almost equally outlandish argument claiming Blackberry is unhackable. "Countless number of foreign intelligence services" have access to Blackberry.

    I know that some guy is going to say "But that was in 2008!"; but, you can't convince everybody. Blackberry was never 100% secure and it never will be. Most "secure mobile solution" is laughable title of say only 50% security.
    I don't understand the end of what point you're trying to make. There's no such thing as 100% secure anything, but some might consider even say "2% more secure than X" worth enough. What then, taking the POTUS as a prime example, would you suggest he do? Conversely, if data security is a valid and relevent subject to a consumer, what you suggest they do?
    zyben likes this.
    03-28-14 04:15 PM
  8. Relletti's Avatar
    Notice he's the EX NSA Chief now.
    Right?

    Good post Szlevi

    Sent from my Z30 using Tapatalk
    03-28-14 04:21 PM
  9. habs_fan's Avatar
    There are mobile devices rated for classified voice and data. BlackBerry, as of now, is not one of them.
    What other mobile phones?

    And back in Oct BlackBerry became the first for restricted information for NATO Countries
    http://press.blackberry.com/press/20...municatio.html

    Posted via CB10
    CerveloJohn likes this.
    03-28-14 05:03 PM
  10. anon(5818411)'s Avatar
    There are mobile devices rated for classified voice and data. BlackBerry, as of now, is not one of them.
    expand a bit on that. I think you have everything a bit backwards haha
    neoberry99 likes this.
    03-28-14 10:53 PM
  11. katiepea's Avatar
    expand a bit on that. I think you have everything a bit backwards haha
    What's backwards about it? If you make a phone call or text on a BlackBerry your neighbor with $15 in electronics can listen to your calls and get all of your SMS. It has been proven to full production level also that GSM is entirely insecure. Hackers have made spoofed cell towers that phones connect to and all data that passes through them, encrypted or not, is available to them. What this NSA guy said is accurate, BlackBerry is just as insecure for these things as any other phone.
    03-29-14 01:23 AM
  12. DaedalusIcarusHelios's Avatar
    I'd hope that Obama is using some kind of secured VOIP on his BlackBerry. He could always use BBM Voice.
    03-29-14 01:36 AM
  13. reversekcid's Avatar
    I guess you have to put this into context. Haydn is on a PR Mission and telling a german magazine some stories about 'their problems', in order to influence public opinion in Germany on the severity of US intelligence tapping Merkels and everyone elses phones.

    Der Spiegel reported last year quoting leaked slides that the NSA assumes that only they have the capabilities to tap into BlackBerrys.

    "The NSA concludes that ordinary consumer devices are increasingly replacing the only certified government smartphone, leading the analysts to voice their concerns about security. They apparently assume that they are the only agents worldwide capable of secretly tapping into BlackBerrys."

    http://m.spiegel.de/international/world/a-921161.html

    Of course this is all about the encrypted data traffic of BES enables devices - not about the security (or lack of security of) mobile phone calls.

    Posted via CB10
    03-29-14 02:11 AM
  14. Jerale's Avatar
    I actually got off the phone today with a former a Marine (he's working for the Navy Federal which is my bank) and he told me how him and a team of armed servicemen used to program BlackBerry's software to be more secure. He said even though they are doing this the BlackBerry is already unhackable (thanks to ECC) just not unbreachable. At the time they weren't on BES because they were still in testing phase or that's what he has told me.

    Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3
    03-29-14 02:28 AM
  15. WES51's Avatar
    I actually got off the phone today with a former a Marine (he's working for the Navy Federal which is my bank) and he told me how him and a team of armed servicemen used to program BlackBerry's software to be more secure. He said even though they are doing this the BlackBerry is already unhackable (thanks to ECC) just not unbreachable. At the time they weren't on BES because they were still in testing phase or that's what he has told me.
    Maybe we should all enlist with the Marines, so they can teach us all those Blackberry programming tricks.

    Once being Blackberry security experts, we can all work for a Bank. LOL
    03-29-14 02:30 PM
  16. BCITMike's Avatar
    They are doing a terrible job if its that easy to tap white house communications.

    Posted via CB10
    03-29-14 05:05 PM
  17. sinsin07's Avatar
    What other mobile phones? ...
    "One is General Dynamics' Sectera Edge, a combination phone-PDA that's been certified by the National Security Agency as being acceptable for Top Secret voice communications and Secret e-mail and Web sites. Through three separate interchangeable modules, it works with Wi-Fi, GSM, or CDMA networks, and is dust-proof, waterproof, and rugged enough to survive repeated 4-foot drops onto concrete. Physically, it's a chunkier second cousin to the Palm Treo 750 , though with an additional LCD display below the keyboard.

    The price is $3,350 with a two-year warranty, a princely sum that's reflected in the Pentagon-worthy price tags for accessories: a simple adapter for a lighter plug costs $100. (Never again should you complain about how much your civilian analogue costs.)

    The Sectera runs a mobile version of Microsoft Windows, including versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player. The NSA claims that the installed versions of Internet Explorer, WordPad, and Windows Messenger are good enough for data that's classified at a level of Secret. Presumably the federal spooks have found a way to protect IE from the numerous security flaws that continue to plague the Internet's most popular browser."
    Ex-NSA chief Hayden: "...Obama was elected, he had a BlackBerry. We thought, oh God, get rid of it."-selectra-edge.png

    "L-3 Communications' Guardian, still in development, is similar, but sports a chunkier antenna and a slightly less conventional keyboard shaped like a V. It, too, runs Windows, boasts a stylus and QWERTY keyboard, supports desktop synchronization, and can be used on secure data plans with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and, internationally, Worldcell. Files stored locally are encrypted.

    Both PDA-phones owe their existence to a Defense Department project called SME-PED, meaning Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device. Because the SME-PED was explicitly designed to act as a classified-information-friendly replacement for a BlackBerry, it should be an easy switch for a President Obama."
    Last edited by sinsin07; 03-30-14 at 07:58 AM.
    Mack Gans likes this.
    03-30-14 07:39 AM
  18. deiop's Avatar
    There are mobile devices rated for classified voice and data. BlackBerry, as of now, is not one of them.
    Together with secusmart, it is, isn't it?

    Posted via CB10
    03-30-14 10:07 AM
  19. anon(5818411)'s Avatar
    What's backwards about it? If you make a phone call or text on a BlackBerry your neighbor with $15 in electronics can listen to your calls and get all of your SMS. It has been proven to full production level also that GSM is entirely insecure. Hackers have made spoofed cell towers that phones connect to and all data that passes through them, encrypted or not, is available to them. What this NSA guy said is accurate, BlackBerry is just as insecure for these things as any other phone.
    BB10 is the "only" device authorized but almost everyone. Example, it is only device authorized by NATO. Unless he was trying to say not to carry a phone at all there is nothing else more secure. Not even a flip phone because you can't get things like secusmart.
    https://www.secusmart.com/en/secusui...lackberryr-10/.
    http://blackberryempire.com/secusmar...or-blackberry/

    Maybe the Blackphone but still it hasn't been proven yet. I won't believe it's security until it is.
    03-30-14 10:36 AM
  20. anon(5818411)'s Avatar
    "One is General Dynamics' Sectera Edge, a combination phone-PDA that's been certified by the National Security Agency as being acceptable for Top Secret voice communications and Secret e-mail and Web sites. Through three separate interchangeable modules, it works with Wi-Fi, GSM, or CDMA networks, and is dust-proof, waterproof, and rugged enough to survive repeated 4-foot drops onto concrete. Physically, it's a chunkier second cousin to the Palm Treo 750 , though with an additional LCD display below the keyboard.

    The price is $3,350 with a two-year warranty, a princely sum that's reflected in the Pentagon-worthy price tags for accessories: a simple adapter for a lighter plug costs $100. (Never again should you complain about how much your civilian analogue costs.)

    The Sectera runs a mobile version of Microsoft Windows, including versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player. The NSA claims that the installed versions of Internet Explorer, WordPad, and Windows Messenger are good enough for data that's classified at a level of Secret. Presumably the federal spooks have found a way to protect IE from the numerous security flaws that continue to plague the Internet's most popular browser."
    Click image for larger version. 

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    "L-3 Communications' Guardian, still in development, is similar, but sports a chunkier antenna and a slightly less conventional keyboard shaped like a V. It, too, runs Windows, boasts a stylus and QWERTY keyboard, supports desktop synchronization, and can be used on secure data plans with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and, internationally, Worldcell. Files stored locally are encrypted.

    Both PDA-phones owe their existence to a Defense Department project called SME-PED, meaning Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device. Because the SME-PED was explicitly designed to act as a classified-information-friendly replacement for a BlackBerry, it should be an easy switch for a President Obama."
    windows messenger is more secure then BBM?

    Although, this phone would be amazing for the army. Nice find.
    03-30-14 10:44 AM
  21. Omnitech's Avatar
    First of all, consider the fact that Hayden was in charge of the NSA at the absolute worst time in its history, when it has been mortally wounded by revelations of widespread abuse of its mission and targeting and data collection on millions of innocent civilians. 'nuff said.


    Germany bought thousands of Z10s and Q10s to use for NATO classified-level communications as well as national govermental usages including chancellor Merkel. It is quite good with the SecuSmart MicroSD card installed.

    Of course if any device you are using is going to transmit over regular civilian networks, it is going to be vulnerable to some kind of snooping, but if you secure the traffic properly that should not be a huge issue. Then again, I doubt that's what Obama's device does - even his "insecure" BlackBerry.

    Re: tower spoofing: If a wireless device of any type being used by the POTUS does not have an internal hard-coded list of valid towers that it is restricted to connecting-to, heads should roll.

    The device Obama uses is NOT a standard device, as a matter of fact it is a legacy device specifically because the security hardening add-ons were designed for legacy BBOS. And in fact, with those customizations, it is actually claimed to be authorized for up to Top-Secret level data.

    See top link in prior post quoted below for more technical details than you have likely ever seen on what Obama is actually using:


    How Obama's BlackBerry got secured (Top Level Telecommunications)

    How secure is the Merkel-Phone? (Top Level Telecommunications)


    Good articles, filled with lots of technical details.

    Among other things, the article on Obama's BlackBerry seems to answer the question about why an iPhone is not usable - the security suite that was originally used for his BlackBerry 8830 is Java-based, and runs on legacy BBOS 4.5 and above.

    I'd imagine he's carrying something newer now - various reports suggest it's a 9930. (Verizon has the US government contract)

    Given the fact that it's pretty unlikely he's surfing the web, watching TV shows or playing games on it, I don't think the older tech is likely to be a big hindrance.

    From a Washington Times article on Obama's BlackBerry:

    Inside the Ring - Washington Times

    "The software that allows users access to data up to the Top-Secret classification level was developed by Genesis Key with the help of engineers from the Toronto-based Research In Motion, which makes BlackBerry.
    bungaboy likes this.
    04-03-14 05:22 AM
  22. Omnitech's Avatar
    And in a very recent article from the same publication is the best picture I've yet seen of what Obama is currently carrying - as widely speculated, it appears to be a 9930:

    Top Level Telecommunications: Some SIGINT and COMSEC during the Nuclear Security Summit

    Ex-NSA chief Hayden: "...Obama was elected, he had a BlackBerry. We thought, oh God, get rid of it."-obama-blackberry-nss2014-gr.jpg
    bungaboy likes this.
    04-03-14 05:33 AM
  23. Omnitech's Avatar
    And I don't know if I'm hallucinating but it seems like I can almost make out a Verizon logo on that thing under the keyboard.
    04-03-14 05:41 AM
  24. BitPusher2600's Avatar
    Good find. That speculation is now over at least.
    04-03-14 10:54 AM
  25. Omnitech's Avatar
    The article is called misinformation. The propaganda is so weak it's not even funny. NSA Spying on the Germans and the Germans got Blackberries . You think NSA is going to tell the stupid masses the truth?
    What is your claim exactly?

    Because we already know for a fact that A) Germany bought BlackBerries for secure government/military use, B) Merkel had been spied-upon when she was using a previous, insecure device, and C) NSA spies on the Germans. It's public knowledge at this point that Merkel contacted the US government to complain about that.

    So what part about it is misinformation?

    It certainly occurred to me that the website could be some kind of psyops thing, but I've usually got a pretty good technology BS detector and it wasn't exactly ringing off the hook when I read those articles.
    04-03-14 03:45 PM
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