The Blackphone was previously hailed by people as the answer to all of our privacy concerns regarding smartphone use. However, the reality is that although the technology used in the Blackphone was current and the smartphone aimed to provide high-end security at a consumer level, the device is not up to scratch. We see from events, which have unfolded at the recent BlackHat security conference that things are not all plain sailing.
Last month, there was a slight skirmish between North American firm, BlackBerry and the guys over at Blackphone. They took pot shots at each other’s devices’ security features. It seems as thought there is small victory for BlackBerry anyway, as Blackphone has just been hacked. The hack wasn’t too serious but after all, people will still see this super secure handset as being not so super secure after all.
At the recent BlackHat security conference, @TeamAndIRC had a mess around with the phone and successfully gained root access without unlocking the bootloader, in a very short period of time. It appears as though Blackphone has already patched one of the discovered vulnerabilities, whilst the other does require direct user consent- thereby rendering it, in effect, harmless.
Despite the fix, this is a bad hit for the joint venture between Silent Circle and Geeksphone. The Blackphone is, after all, designed to protect personal data from leaking out to third parties. The phone’s PrivatOS is based on top of Android and it is this OS design feature that has already led to concerns over the extent of Blackphone’s security. Android was not designed specifically with security as main priority.
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[Image via theborneopost]