The government's technical security advisor CESG says BlackBerry's new BB10 software is not secure enough for essential work.
That is despite the fact that BlackBerry announced last November ahead of launch that BB10 had been awarded the US government’s FIPS 140-2 security certification.
The news is a blow to hopes that the new operating system (OS), released on the Z10 handset in January, would help revive the company’s fortunes, according to the Guardian.
The finding is a surprise after the previous BlackBerry version, 7.1, was cleared by CESG in December 2012 for classifications up to "restricted" – two levels below "secret".
But the Guardian reports that tests on BB10 and the BlackBerry Balance software, intended to separate work and personal accounts, have shown that it fails the same security requirements.
BlackBerry has confirmed that BB10 has not been passed yet by CESG, but could not say when revised software would be submitted.
Failure to win CESG approval could cost BlackBerry dearly as the government is one of its biggest customers in the UK.
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In a statement, the company said that BlackBerry remained the only mobile solution approved for use at restricted level, when configured in accordance with CESG guidelines.
BlackBerry said this level of approval comes only after a rigorous process, but that the current restructuring of this approval process has had an “impact on the timeline” for BlackBerry 10 to receive a similar level of approval.
“The US government's FIPS 140-2 certification of BlackBerry 10 and the selection of BlackBerry 10 by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security underline how our new platform continues to set the standard for government communications,” the company said.
The smartphone company said it would continue to work closely with CESG on the approval of BlackBerry 10
“We are confident that BlackBerry 10 will only strengthen our position as the mobile solution of choice for the UK government,” the statement said.