BlackBerry 10 secures pre-release certification

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BlackBerry 10, Research in Motion's next generation platform, won't be available until Jan. 30, 2013, but the smartphones and tablets set to use the operating system have already passed one major government security hurdle.

According to the device manufacturer, the operating system has received Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certification. The Federal Information Security Management Act, or FISMA, requires that all federal agencies and departments use FIPS 140-2 certified modules for the encryption of unclassified data.

The announcement marks the first time RIM has received FIPS 140-2 prior to a device or mobile OS release.

"Achieving FIPS certification for an entirely new platform in a very short period of time, and before launch, is quite remarkable," said RIM Security Certifications Director David MacFarlane in a statement.

BlackBerry also has plans to extend security, beyond the forthcoming devices, to its mobile management platform, writes Nayef Khan, a security certification manager at RIM, in a Nov. 8 post on the BlackBerry for Business Blog.

The upcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 uses the BlackBerry Cryptographic Library and the BlackBerry Cryptographic Java Modules, both of which also achieved FIPS 140-2 certification, he says.

Recent solicitations and agency plans indicate BlackBerry may be falling out of favor with federal agencies. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently announced it plans to ditch BlackBerrys in favor of iPhones and the Health and Human Services Department's mobility strategy strongly favors iPhones over BlackBerry or Android devices.

For more:
- read the blog post

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