1. JPMorgan_'s Avatar
    How BlackBerry 10 avoids Android's security issues

    In Depth RIM predicts 'day of reckoning' for mobile security

    Google's problem with Android is both the Linux and Java components it's built with and the way it's implemented by multiple handset makers. That's according to Sebastien Marineau, the senior vice president of BlackBerry OS.

    TechRadar at the BlackBerry Jam conference. That causes security headaches and ultimately limits what Android can do.

    "I call it architectural integrity; maintaining integrity of the architecture and for that you need to deeply understand that architecture. The model with Android is one of microforking, from handset manufacturer to handset manufacturer and even between handsets."

    BlackBerry 10 and QNX partition what different apps and processes are allowed to do very strictly, but the design of Android is quite different. "It's much harder to partition in Android because it's a distributed architecture. It's a distributed object model throughout all the Java components and processes and it's far more difficult to partition that."

    Plus there is a lot of Android to understand, compared to the small but powerful QNX kernel that powers PlayBook and BlackBerry 10. "If you look at the microkernel architecture, the microkernel is the only trusted component in the system," he explains. "It's the one thing that can never fail and it gets to control access."
    "In the case of our microkernel it's about 100,000 lines of code, give or take ten thousand and that's the core code that has to be absolutely bullet proof. If you look at something like Linux, I don't know what it's up to today but it was up to 14 million lines six months ago. That code all runs in privileged space and one line in that can take down the whole system or be the vulnerability that people exploit. It's very difficult to test to prove that that amount of code is secure and bug free."

    A mature kernel

    But the QNX kernel is very stable and the QNX team knows it inside out. "We didn't rewrite the QNX operating system for BB10," he points out. "We took that platform and we took the operating system and we're building an entirely new mobile stack on top of it but the core of it, QNX, has stood the test of time. The version we're building on first released in 1999 to 2000. When you look at the heart of an operating system it usually takes a decade to mature."

    Do we really care how secure or efficient our phones are providing we can get online and play games? We will, Marineau predicts.

    "A day of reckoning will come. Because as more and more of our lives migrate from desktops and laptops to mobile devices, we will have to solve the problems around security, privacy, anonymity, access to data. If we want this true seamlessness between devices, it means that the underlying plumbing has to share all this data and the only way to do it is going to be to actually solve these hard problems. I am sure there will be some spectacular security breaches - and then people will wake up."

    One LTE phone everywhere

    Better security is just one of the advantages from QNX, Marineau believes. Not having an LTE phone this year really hurt BlackBerry sales but as he points out, "LTE devices today have really poor battery life." It's an area where he thinks BlackBerry 10 can shine with the way it squeezes out more battery life by using the efficient connection to the RIM network for saving power when you're getting email or social network updates.

    "When you use services like Facebook and Twitter they're typically polled services. We can turn them into push or do clever things in how we align all these services and when they're polling in order to save battery life."


    Plus LTE phones today only work in one country. "The challenge of LTE is there are so many bands and every country is different. The complexity of building an LTE world phone is huge."

    But in a few years' time, RIM will have software switched antennas (developed by a company it bought called Paratech) that could work with all the different LTE frequencies around the world, so RIM could make a single phone and sell it everywhere or you could take your UK LTE phone and use in the US when you travel.

    Plus the OS and even apps could behave differently depending on how you're connected and where you are. That's something Marineau says the Android architecture won't support.

    "It's one of the benefits of actually owning the stack. You're basically able to change anything in the stack to globally optimise when you have a hard problem to solve, which is something that iOS can do but Android is limited in what they can change.

    "They can't really change Linux that much; and they get standard drivers from vendors and it's difficult for them to change them. If you look at where they're innovating, they're innovating in the Java layer at the top but they're constrained in what they can do lower down the stack."

    How BlackBerry 10 avoids Android's security issues | News | TechRadar
    10-10-12 01:15 PM
  2. lnichols's Avatar
    Great article. Can't wait to get BB10 in my hands.
    10-10-12 01:41 PM
  3. NinjaB's Avatar
    good article...

    and funny you should post this beause just last week I saw an article about the Galaxy SIII vulnerability and cringed (for droid users) and rejoiced because BB users never have to worry about this type of thing...
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...ljGEyxgZZaGZbw

    and for the record, yes they have fixed it already but still laughable that it was ever an issue of an 11-digit code being that easy to wipe your phone...
    JPMorgan_ likes this.
    10-10-12 01:52 PM
  4. Branta's Avatar
    "We didn't rewrite the QNX operating system for BB10," he points out. "We took that platform and we took the operating system and we're building an entirely new mobile stack on top of it but the core of it, QNX, has stood the test of time. The version we're building on first released in 1999 to 2000. ...
    Wait for the trolls and prophets of doom... QNX is older than BBOS
    10-10-12 04:52 PM
  5. GTiLeo's Avatar
    Wait for the trolls and prophets of doom... QNX is older than BBOS
    and the whole concept og the QNX kernel was developed in the early 80s what they don't get is its just the kernel that is that old the OS is BB10 which is new :P the QNX microkernel has stood the test of time and been proven
    10-13-12 03:10 PM
  6. drummer_god's Avatar
    I predict, android phones will not exist in 5 years or less.
    Jake Storm likes this.
    10-13-12 04:25 PM
  7. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    I predict, android phones will not exist in 5 years or less.
    5 years might be a stretch.

    Even so, Android is already running into some fairly serious issues, and that's why we're starting to see Google try to rein in fragmentation by producing their own branded hardware. We're seeing instances where specific handsets won't be able to implement certain upgrades because the manufacturer has "forked" off too far and can't be bothered reconciling the differences to allow upgrades.

    And for an "open source" OS, it winds up being fairly expensive to use for the manufacturers (hence the desire by many to find a new OS, which may be a licensing opportunity for RIM).

    Really, between iOS 6 launching with "issues" (and little real innovation), Microsoft seemingly deliberately sabotaging its own Windows Phone launch, and Google losing the thread on Android, the current atmosphere represents about the best time RIM could hope for to launch BB10.
    10-13-12 04:59 PM
  8. jafrul's Avatar
    good read. felt secure. now i can go bacn to sleep.

    Sent from my torchy Torch 9800 using Tapatalk
    10-13-12 05:11 PM
  9. owadkelly's Avatar
    This sounds soooo promising. Delivering on the competition's shortcomings and very serious ones at that. Everyone knows how important security is nowadays. I still see Android as an experiment gone popular.
    10-14-12 08:49 PM
  10. Jake Storm's Avatar
    The average consumer doesn't care about security.... yet.
    With the advent of mobile wallet, m2m, etc, people will soon start to realize how much they need to protect in their phone.
    10-14-12 10:51 PM
  11. MartyMcfly's Avatar
    I predict, android phones will not exist in 5 years or less.
    Smh, based on what?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    10-14-12 10:59 PM
  12. drummer_god's Avatar
    Smh, based on what?
    Fragmentation, lack of security, app piracy and stiffer competition.
    10-14-12 11:46 PM
  13. MartyMcfly's Avatar
    Fragmentation, lack of security, app piracy and stiffer competition.
    Android devices are growing in popularity, unless you have stats showing other wise. If not, I declare shenanigans.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    DocZ and waker like this.
    10-14-12 11:50 PM
  14. cgk's Avatar
    The average consumer doesn't care about security.... yet.
    With the advent of mobile wallet, m2m, etc, people will soon start to realize how much they need to protect in their phone.
    They will realise and do... nothing... absolutely nothing about user behaviour in either fixed or mobile environments suggest that anything will change within the next few years or even decade. Outside of enterprise, security is something that the market ascribes no value to - at least no value that shows up on balance sheets. It if did, we would see added value attached to BB7 handsets and we don't.
    10-15-12 12:11 PM
  15. whitbags's Avatar
    Interesting comment below the article: a hack of the iPhone was also demonstrated (and also won a prize). The iPhone hack used a URL and exploited a webkit weakness enabling the hacker to hijack addressbook contacts, photos and other personal data from the phone. Funny how that was simply not mentioned.
    10-15-12 03:22 PM
  16. whitbags's Avatar
    I wonder if a BB hack was also found?
    10-15-12 03:23 PM
  17. Techno-Emigre's Avatar
    Good read. I emphasize BB security every seminar I give, as even professionals don't understand much about it. It is like anything ... let a few senators and media execs experience some embarrassing/expensive hacks and security will get more attention. Come on BB10!
    10-15-12 03:47 PM
  18. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Android devices are growing in popularity, unless you have stats showing other wise. If not, I declare shenanigans.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    LOL we see a lot of these predictions of the demise of iOS and Android nowadays. The implicit problem with hoping for the demise of competitors is that even in the unlikely event that they do fail, there is no guarantee that users will flock to yours.

    Thankfully, RIM does not seem to praying for smartphone security armageddon to improve, as even the Mayan calendar is open to interpretation.
    10-15-12 04:09 PM
  19. Branta's Avatar
    The average consumer doesn't care about security.... yet.
    With the advent of mobile wallet, m2m, etc, people will soon start to realize how much they need to protect in their phone.
    The average consumer doesn't even understand the concepts of security and I'm not even convinced about many here who profess themselves as "experts"

    #define expert := "ex" (latin) FROM + "spurt" A DRIP UNDER PRESSURE
    10-15-12 04:33 PM
  20. bengalt9's Avatar
    Android malware now features on FBI website:-
    FBI — Malware Targets Android Smartphones
    I think if BB10 can still hold on to its security aspect, it has a long way to go!!!
    10-15-12 04:39 PM

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