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Samsung, BlackBerry gain Pentagon security clearance, Apple still waiting

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
The Pentagon's push toward a platform-agnostic Department of Defense moved forward today, as BlackBerry 10 devices and a number of Samsung's Galaxy handsets were approved for DoD use, even as Apple's iOS devices still await approval.

istuff


The Pentagon on Thursday cleared BlackBerry 10 and Samsung Knox-compatible devices for use on DoD networks, Reuters reported, while Apple's iPhones and iPads are expected to see approval later in May. Expanding the range of devices available beyond the DoD's previous BlackBerry standard will allow units within the department to tailor their technology orders to fit their own needs.

"We are pleased to add BlackBerry 1- and the Samsung Knox version of Android to our family of mobile devices supporting the Department of Defense," Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told Reuters. "We look forward to additional vendors also participating in this process."

Thursday's announcement wasn't entirely unexpected, as the DoD has been saying for months that it was preparing to open its networks to iOS and certain Android devices. Recent reports moved the timing up on that decision from late-2013 to the first half of the year.

What is surprising, though, is that BlackBerry 10 devices have received approval prior to Apple's iOS devices. Most previous reports had iOS much further along in the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) review process, which all devices must go through prior to approval.

Apple devices have already been used in some areas of the government, but Pentagon certification will allow for their use in more secure areas. When clearance does arrive for iOS devices, it's expected that it will cover devices running iOS 6, while those running iOS 5 may require hardware modifications in order to achieve clearance.
post #2 of 21

Why samsung knox?

post #3 of 21
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post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Why samsung knox?

It's not a phone but security software.
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post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


It's not a phone but security software.

I know.

 

But (for starters) it's made by samsung, so it automatically brings all sorts of problems.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

I know.

But (for starters) it's made by samsung, so it automatically brings all sorts of problems.

What doesn't? Apple stores aren't filled with people that aren't having problems with their iDevice. Samsung's software obviously passed whatever test the DoD put it through.
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post #7 of 21
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post
But (for starters) it's made by samsung, so it automatically brings all sorts of problems.

 

And second, it's foreign. And this is the Pentagon…

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post #8 of 21
It's very strange and ironic how the ever imitating Samsung, who has been copying Apple since 2009, gains security clearance, and not Apple, the original, who has to wait.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

 
What is surprising, though, is that BlackBerry 10 devices have received approval prior to Apple's iOS devices. Most previous reports had iOS much further along in the Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) review process, which all devices must go through prior to approval.

 

It's not surprising.

 

  • Blackberry has always worked with the US government to get its devices authorized.
  • Samsung probably gave access to its source code
  • Apple has historically resisted such cooperation.

 

Btw, a STIG can even be just to say that a device can be used for non-secure access (which is all that iOS is approved for).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

Why samsung knox?

 

The secure kernel used by Knox was developed by NSA, and has both insecure and secure partitions.  Nothing can pass between these partitions.

 

This means that even if the civilian user side gets compromised, the secure side stays secure as it only allows access to approved apps, comms and data.  

 

Supposedly NSA approached Apple about using this secure kernel as well, but was rebuffed.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And second, it's foreign. And this is the Pentagon…

 

Blackberry is also "foreign", yet has consistently had secure authorization.

 

Apple's devices are made in China, and the DoD does not have access to iOS source code to verify that the code that comes with them is secure.


Edited by KDarling - 5/3/13 at 7:22am
post #10 of 21

Great comment bro!  Samsung and the rest of the entire Android platform has been known for being less secure due to Android not having a "walled garden" like Apple's iOS.  That platform still gets infected even if their subscribers have the Anti-Virus "Lookout" installed on the devices.  It'll be funny to see how their bosses scold them for not having the latest update, and their reply will be my carrier or phone won't be getting that until another few weeks or so.  What's the pentagon planning to do?  Buy a certain model from a certain carrier to help avoid most of the fragmentation issues that Android has?!!  LOL.

post #11 of 21
Quote:

Originally Posted by macm37 View Post
 

 It'll be funny to see how their bosses scold them for not having the latest update, and their reply will be my carrier or phone won't be getting that until another few weeks or so.

 

The OS doesn't matter. Even with iOS, an update must be approved by DISA.

 

Quote:
What's the pentagon planning to do?  Buy a certain model from a certain carrier to help avoid most of the fragmentation issues that Android has?!!  LOL.

 

The DoD already authorizes and buys specific models for secure comms.  That won't change.

 

As long as the Knox OS itself is secure, other updates are not subject to fragmentation. Remember, even the default browsers, email and other apps are updated separately with Android.

post #12 of 21
This is an interesting story since the original report was released by Reuters. Reuters offers Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman as the source for the story.

The story doesn't state for what use the devices were approved. In fact, there is not a published Security Technical Implementation Guide for either product on the Defense Information Systems Agency website.
post #13 of 21
The US gives security clearance to two foreign owned companies but not a US based company. Perfect.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landcruiser View Post

The US gives security clearance to two foreign owned companies but not a US based company. Perfect.

 

looks like Apple is the one playing hardball, and I like that. kneel to no one.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

And second, it's foreign. And this is the Pentagon…
exactly! And this is also the company that gas been found guilty of stealing US inellectual property. The DOD must be even dumber and more incompetent than we thought
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

looks like Apple is the one playing hardball, and I like that. kneel to no one.

 

More like Apple sees it as a niche market that they're not interested in.

 

It has nothing to do with playing hardball. The government's not begging Apple to sell to them.  After all, the feds already have other devices to choose from.

 

It's the poor government employees who want to use Apple products that will suffer, not the government itself.

post #17 of 21
I will emphasize that the story is, in my opinion, unsubstantiated. I can not find any evidence of any approval for any mobile device other than an ambiguous statement from Lieutenant Colonel Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman according to Reuters.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) published a Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for iOS 6 in January.

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has not published a Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for any version of Android other than Android 2.2 on a Dell device.

DARPA has a project known as Secure iPad (SiPad).

United States Special Operations Command has a project known as SECURE Blackberry.



To clarify, Apple iOS 6 devices have been approved for use by DISA since January, 2013.
Edited by MacBook Pro - 5/3/13 at 11:37am
post #18 of 21

The story seems a bit dubious in that there isn't a device that has Knox working.

 

Android, Blackberry, and iOS have always been approved for use by DOD for non-secure use; however, Blackberry is approved for 'secure' use.    I believe iOS6 falls in the category of non-secure but okay to use.

 

I am always curious why iOS 6 hasn't got the real secure approval, and surprised Blackberry was able to get it so fast with a whole new platform...

post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Blackberry is also "foreign", yet has consistently had secure authorization.

 

You think I'm okay with that, either?


Apple's devices are made in China, and the DoD does not have access to iOS source code to verify that the code that comes with them is secure.

 

Source? That's absolute nonsense. All articles recently have stated they've been looking over said code.

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post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3c1ph3r View Post

The story seems a bit dubious in that there isn't a device that has Knox working.

Android, Blackberry, and iOS have always been approved for use by DOD for non-secure use; however, Blackberry is approved for 'secure' use.    I believe iOS6 falls in the category of non-secure but okay to use.

I am always curious why iOS 6 hasn't got the real secure approval, and surprised Blackberry was able to get it so fast with a whole new platform...


Why do you believe ["Android, Blackberry, and iOS have always been approved for use by DOD for non-secure use,"] this statement? Do you have any evidence?
post #21 of 21
ya... samsung got the "Classified" security clearance... but apple is awaiting for the " Top secret" and "For your eyes only" grades of security clearance...

of course the old blackberry phones have all of the "top" grade security clearances... ie the president uses the berryberry... but the new ones...???
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