Podcast: Security Challenges Ahead For Blackberry

With another busy week behind us in the security world, we sat down with Zach Lanier, a senior security researcher for mobile authentication specialist Duo Security. Zach is a recognized authority on the security of mobile devices, and was able to talk about some ongoing research he’s doing on Blackberry’s BB10 operating system.

Blackberry Z30
Blackberry may face security challenges with new versions of its BB10 operating system.

Zach told us that Blackberry 10, the latest version of Blackberry’s mobile operating system, is a big improvement over previous versions, including the TabletOS that Blackberry (formerly Research in Motion) used for its PlayBook – the company’s first foray into the tablet space.  But Lanier and fixed many of the information leaks that he and others found in TabletOS and reported to the company.

“But there are still lots of questions we’re looking to answer,” Lanier said.

 

Among other things, Lanier is examining whether Blackberry 10’s support for so many different runtimes might pose security problems for devices running the OS.

Zach_Lanier
Lanier works for Duo Security. (Image courtesy of Blackhat.com)

After its initial PlayBook failed to attract developer attention, Blackberry decided to make future editions a kind of ‘Switzerland’ for mobile apps, with built in support for Adobe’s Air, Java, apps written in C and C++ as well as  Android mobile applications. “You can just convert your leaky Android app and run it on a Blackberry device,” Lanier said. 

 

It’s a wide ranging conversation, in which we touch on the recent revelations about the NSA’s use of mobile applications for spying, and the continued fallout from data leaks by prominent retailers like Target, Neiman Marcus and Michael’s Stores. Check out our conversation using the links below!

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