back to article 'New' Canadian BlackBerry security scare emerged in 2011

Reports that Canada has just awakened to the perils of BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN messaging in government should be taken with a pinch of salt – the nation knew about the problem back in 2011. PIN-to-PIN messages take advantage of the fact that every BlackBerry device is issued with a unique eight-digit PIN. If a BlackBerry user …


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Inaccuracies and misconceptions

Re: this part of the article:

"The service, most often referred to as BlackBerry Messenger..."

Not true. Blackberry Messenger (or "BBM") is a separate service, a proprietary Blackberry-only instant messaging service. Whereas PIN-to-PIN messaging is basically Blackberry-specific email.

One advantage of these proprietary services is that in many countries (in the developing world in particular) they have been bundled into inexpensive "BIS" (Blackberry Internet Services) data plans, which is a key reason why Blackberry remains popular in countries like Indonesia and South Africa.

There have long been misconceptions about BIS, including the security of services like PIN-to-PIN messaging and BBM. While back in the days when BIS was new, even its low-grade "scrambling" was much better than the mostly completely insecure alternatives, these days encryption (typically using SSL or TLS) is becoming more the rule than the exception for online services, not least due to all the hacks and exploits that have become so commonplace.

The truly secure Blackberry communication system has always been its Blackberry Enterprise Service or "BES", and that remains the case to this day.


"Canadian time"??

"...FUDgasm started on Wednesday, Canadian time, when revealed..."

Although I heartily applaud "FUDgasm" as a delightful neologism, I take exception to the phrase "Canadian time". Canada spans six time zones, which makes the reporter's word choice ironically provincial.

Anonymous Coward

second hand BB

Like at work when IT gave a load of old BB from departed colleagues to Africa. Once "departed" colleagues in BB groups suddenly came alive and started posting into locked groups. Very amusing.

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