Blackberry is preparing for a huge shift in its approach to smartphones by unveiling a smartphone running Android. The device called the Blackberry Priv is yet to be made available in the market but it has been making the rounds a lot lately. Right from the time it was a rumour in tech circles to when it started showing up in renders, real world photos and eventually some hands-on videos. BlackBerry CEO John Chen even showed off the device to reporters moments after the company confirmed its existence in its financial reports.
According to a study by Cambridge University researchers, nearly 9 out of 10 Android devices are exposed to a critical vulnerability that puts user communications and personal data at risk. With that said, Blackberry has long prided itself in providing ultra secure platforms through its operating system. With Android being an Open source operating system, users were not aware how these standards would be met. Previously, Blackberry CEO John Chen had stated that Blackberry would only allow its devices to run on Android if its security and private standards would be met.
Blackberry’s Chief Security Officer David Kleidermacher took to the company’s Inside Blackberry blog seeking to array user fears and also point out the measures the company had taken to ensure user security on the android platform. To offer the Priv, Blackberry included its hardware root of trust, a unique manufacturing process that injects cryptographic keys into the device hardware ensuring its entire platform was secured. The device also includes verified boot and secure bootchain to verify every layer of the device from hardware to OS to applications have not been tampered with. Blackberry also included a hardened Linux kernel with numerous patches and configuration changes to improve security. The device also has full disk encryption on by default meaning rooting or flashing a custom ROM will not be possible.