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Boeing offers details on its new secure Android smartphone

Boeing has officially announced a new smartphone that was designed with security and modularity in mind. The modular and secure design allows the device to be used in a range of mission and configurations.
 
The “Boeing Black” has embedded hardware security features, software policy configurability, and physical modularity. The phone runs Android for the operating system. It also supports encrypting the contents of its internal drive. The Boeing Black has a Hardware Root of Trust [PDF] that ensures software authenticity.
 
Other features include embedded secure components, trusted platform modules, and secure boot. And don't even think about trying to crack the phone open for nefarious reasons:

The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof covering to identify attempted disassembly. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable.
 
The hardware specifics of the device include a 4.3-inch qHD resolution screen. The phone uses a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and includes Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The Boeing Black weighs 170g and has a 1590 mAh internal battery. Bluetooth v2.1+EDR is supported. Boeing equips the device with an unspecified amount of internal storage and includes a microSD card slot for expansion. The phone will run on GSM, LTE, and WCDMA networks.

 
Much of the details of the phone are unannounced because the device will be used for sensitive communications. Boeing said that the specs are exempt from the Freedom of information Act because the hardware contains trade secrets that are vital to national security.

Sources: Boeing, Qz.com, FCC



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No thermite
By lagomorpha on 2/27/2014 10:30:24 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof covering to identify attempted disassembly. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable.


Anyone else disappointed 'thermite' wasn't mentioned anywhere in that paragraph?




RE: No thermite
By sorry dog on 2/27/2014 11:09:21 AM , Rating: 2
No kidding...

Didn't sony have this "feature." for phones and laptops a few years ago?


RE: No thermite
By Jeffk464 on 2/27/2014 11:57:43 AM , Rating: 2
Don't knock it, we need more computing devices like this on the market for people who do online banking and investing. My next laptop will probably be chrome OS just so I can feel safer doing financial stuff. I currently don't do anything financial on a my phone, but would be tempted on a product like this. I read about a businessman that did business in China that would reflash the ROM on his phone everyday because it was a guarantee China would attempt to hack it.


RE: No thermite
By lagomorpha on 2/27/2014 12:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's still an Android device so it's marketed as a secure product but the security is unlikely to be that good. Given the number of exploits the NSA has it's likely the Chinese have their own share.

Personally I wouldn't feel any safer with ChromeOS storing everything in Google's cloud. If security is your primary concern buy a Linux laptop from Asus (without Microsoft tax) and put some security focused distribution on it.


RE: No thermite
By Jeffk464 on 2/27/2014 1:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
You have any more secure linux distros you can think of. I know the most secure option is to boot a linux distro from optical media before you do financial transactions but its a pretty big hassle. If you could boot windows from a safe optical disc I know it would be perfectly safe for a session too.


RE: No thermite
By Jeffk464 on 2/27/2014 1:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
You can pretty much guarantee China has managed to slip some "employees" into the NSA.


RE: No thermite
By lagomorpha on 2/27/2014 2:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
Gentoo Hardened, some BSD variant, Tails if you're really paranoid though to be honest even Mint is safer than Chrome OS.

You could even run Tails in a virtual machine.


RE: No thermite
By Jeffk464 on 2/27/2014 2:35:31 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, I'm going to have to look into those.


RE: No thermite
By nolisi on 2/28/2014 1:11:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's still an Android device so it's marketed as a secure product but the security is unlikely to be that good.


Um, you did read the part where they modified the hardware to kill the device and all data on it if the casing is tampered with, right? I think it's rather shortsighted for you to assume that they didn't modify the OS (one of the most customizeable, btw) as well. Is your shortsightedness intentional just so you can throw an insult at Android? You do realize intentional ignorance is worse than just honestly not knowing, right?


RE: No thermite
By jihadjoe on 2/27/2014 4:22:34 PM , Rating: 5
A Google OS is probably the last thing I want in my "secure and private" portable computer.


RE: No thermite
By marvdmartian on 2/28/2014 7:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
That will be the next model, number 007.


Please remove autoplay feature!
By hughlle on 2/27/2014 9:53:05 AM , Rating: 5
I think i'd be safe in saying that video's that auto play everytime you refresh or visit a page are hated by one and all (other than on youtube-like sites of course)




By sorry dog on 2/27/2014 11:10:49 AM , Rating: 5
+6.

I HATE autoplay. I wish somebody would sue Adobe for bandwidth theft.


RE: Please remove autoplay feature!
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Please remove autoplay feature!
By batjohn on 2/27/2014 12:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
Funny... I have Firefox and Adblock Plus installed and the video ran on page load.


By lagomorpha on 2/27/2014 12:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Video didn't run for me, I have plug-ins disabled except on sites I specifically turn them on.


By Monkey's Uncle on 2/27/2014 12:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
Likewise. Adblock installed and enabled on DT. Video plays.

I have notified the author to fix it.


By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2014 3:51:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Funny... I have Firefox and Adblock Plus installed and the video ran on page load.


Then you have a problem. Not only does the video not play for me, but it doesn't even show up. The entire graphic window for the video is blocked.


By jihadjoe on 2/27/2014 4:21:30 PM , Rating: 2
ABP blocked it for me.

Did you uncheck the "allow some non-intrusive advertising" box? Because it looks like they're allowing some rather intrusive stuff through these days.


RE: Please remove autoplay feature!
By hughlle on 2/27/2014 12:18:51 PM , Rating: 3
The typical response, focus on a solution, not the problem.

I have adblock, it did not block it, and i do not want it to block it. There are very often useful videos and such posted on this site, i'd rather not just have them hidden away under a blanket and chance missing something informative. If this video had actually been useful, unless i had complained about it, you wouldn't even have known about it.


RE: Please remove autoplay feature!
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2014 3:53:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The typical response, focus on a solution, not the problem.


Kinda backwards isn't it?

You go ahead and "focus" on the problem. I've already found a solution, and have moved on.


RE: Please remove autoplay feature!
By hughlle on 2/27/2014 5:50:35 PM , Rating: 2
yet the problem persists for the rest of us, even those, myself included, with adblock already installed.


What they are not telling you is...
By Monkey's Uncle on 2/27/2014 12:45:30 PM , Rating: 2
... That the NSA has bugged every single one of them leaving the factory.

No one can spy on you with this phone except the folks that want to spy on you most.

Ima go out and buy one today! /sarcasm




RE: What they are not telling you is...
By Jeffk464 on 2/27/2014 1:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
The biggest security risk to individual involves financial risks. Governments aren't going to be trying to steal individual's assets but organized crime and general hackers are. After that you have corporate espionage that sometimes involves governments and sometimes doesn't. Either way their are lots of threats that require security beyond from the NSA. In fact the NSA's weakening of internet security is a threat to everyone because of these very reasons. Who know someday in the future China could use techniques and weaknesses developed by the NSA to take down the US financial system, its entirely possible.


By lagomorpha on 2/27/2014 2:01:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Governments aren't going to be trying to steal individual's assets


Sure they are, they just don't need to hack your phone to do so because they prefer to steal money right out of your paycheck.

*bah dum tish*


Just let the battery die?
By mpjesse on 2/27/2014 1:29:04 PM , Rating: 2
So it has disassembly safeguards, which would presumably only work if the phone has some sort of power source. Any speculation on how the phone enables those safeguards if the battery is completely dead? Perhaps a small secondary battery w/ 5 years life that powers a small chip that's always running?

What if I slice away at the phone using a sharp knife; the screws are maintained but I can still get to the logic board w/o removing a screw? Or the face for that matter.

Just curious if anyone has any ideas on how this might work...




RE: Just let the battery die?
By deltaend on 2/27/2014 1:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's likely much more primitive than that. Most likely there is a chemical coating on the chips that react to oxygen and either burn the circuitry, or corrupt the data by etching the encryption chip.


RE: Just let the battery die?
By deltaend on 2/27/2014 1:55:53 PM , Rating: 2
It could also be positive pressure based where an acid is contained in a cylinder via pressure and released into the inside of the memory chip if the pressure drops to normal PSI. You would open the sealed compartment and hear a pop, and the data would be destroyed.


Hate auto playing ads that have sound
By daar on 2/27/2014 9:55:45 AM , Rating: 4
f@$# off with including those. Yeah yeah, flashblock, noscript




Why do I feel...
By deltaend on 2/27/2014 12:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
Even less secure when people tout the security of a specific device like this. Makes me feel as if the NSA is paying Boeing to market these things in an effort to gain access to secured communications. I would almost prefer to get a generic device and then modify it for my own security requirements, that way I can have confidence in the security not having back doors or other things.




Specs
By jeffbui on 2/27/2014 4:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
This thing has specs from 3 years ago: iPad 2 processor, Bluetooth 2.1.




Old Story (jk)
By majorpain on 3/3/2014 1:32:44 PM , Rating: 2
Already seen this one before, its called Windows Phone! It suicides at-least 5 times a day on me with no reason. Must be my bad hair.




"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs











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