1 March 2014

Boeing Reveals New Spy SmartPhone

February 27, 2014  

Anthony Wood has an online article in Gizmag.com with the title above. Mr. Wood notes that Boeing “has stepped outside the field of aeronautics to develop a security-focused SmartPhone — the Boeing Black. Boeing says this new, secure cell phone, “will not be available to the general public and is being designed from the ground up to be the go-to phone mobile device for the Defense, Intelligence and National Security communities. It offers what Boeing describes as “trusted access to data,” allowing said agencies to carry out highly sensitive missions. 

Boeing has repeatedly said “because of the covert nature of the device, the inner workings of the phone will not be made available to the public;” however, as Mr. Wood notes, some basic specifications for this new SmartPhone have been released. 

The Boeing Black, will run on a heavily customized version of the Google Android operating system and will weigh approximately 170g (5.9 oz.) with a 4.3x540x960-inch aHD display. The Bluetooth-enabled SmartPhone has room for two SIM cards, allowing the user to switch between government and commercial networks. 

Mr. Wood says there is no word on how much internal storage the device will carry but it does offer a microSD expansion slot. The handset is powered by a dual 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPUs, supports LTE connectivity and hosts a 1,590 mAh battery. 

Mr. Wood adds. “whilst these specifications appear underwhelming when compared with flagship handsets such as the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S5, it’s fair to say that Boeing Black isn’t aiming to compete with the cream of the Android crop.” Mr. Wood adds that “Boeing Black was designed with modularity in mind. The back of the phone slides off to allow various modules such as additional sensing equipment, or satellite connectivity, giving the phone a high-level of flexibility for a mobile device.” 

Boeing Black is in effect a sealed unit, utilizing covered screws and epoxy glue to seal the casing. According to papers the company sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). “Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device, rendering it inoperable.” 

The company claims these features “means it is impossible to service or swap out components within the phone. I am not an engineer; but, these kind of claims do make me a bit nervous. I suspect that over 90% of the time, such a claim is accurate and that is probably good enough. But to say it is impossible? Perhaps the adversary could make one exactly like it — assuming they could somehow steal or, get their hands on the blueprints — then substitute one of theirs for a certain individual they are targeting and have under surveillance. One would have to assume that the specs on this device will be a high priority collection target by those who wish us harm, as well as others. I don’t want to imply that Boeing isn’t correct here when they say it is impossible to “break into this phone.” I just wary of such a statement. You know there will be those foreign intelligence services that will take that statement as a challenge and try and get their hands on the blueprints and/or a device. Perhaps a way to remotely self-destruct the phone would be a good feature — if possible. 

On top of these physical safety features, the Boeing Black “boasts a plethora of software security elements covering a wide range of functions,” according to Mr. Wood. “One such example,” he notes, “is the data software protection utilized in Boeing Black disk encryption, a system that effectively protects stored information by converting it into an unreadable code.” No word on the price. 

I like this move by Boeing and it makes me more interested in owning their stock. V/R, RCP

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I have used invisible application to track a cell phone and this is really works. I am surprised and the application not show on the hacked mobile.