Special forces aiming to lock down BlackBerry 10 devices

The U.S. Special Operations Command is looking for a way to secure BlackBerry 10 devices so that they can always function in a trusted state, reject unauthorized software and detect any signs of tampering.

 The command has issued a Request for Information soliciting white papers on what it calls an integrity agent that provides “integrity verification and tamper detection” for BlackBerry 10.

The solution—which can be commercial or non-commercial—should be able to ensure that the devices start up and stay in a trusted state according to preset parameters and allow Special Operations Forces to keep track of all system and application software on the devices, according to the solicitation. It must also be able to proactively detect installations of third-party software or any other attempt to tamper with the device or its operating system.

Special forces—which include the likes of Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and units in the other military services—tend to operate in small teams in contested environments. They don’t often have access to the full networking equipment other forces have, although forces still need to communicate securely beyond just line-of-sight radios and other tools.

The command has been looking for new ways to improve its communications capabilities as its focus shifts from a concentration in the Middle East to a wider presence around the world.

The RFI is asking for white papers of no more than three pages on the ability to provide secure features for BlackBerry. Responses are due by April 29.

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