A UK Armed Forces program will begin using different models of the iPhone 7, modified with security software, to replace the Android devices they have been using to date.
UK switches to iPhone
BT, the telecommunications company working for the UK Ministry of Defence, intends to use the iPhone 7 as the communication phone for secret conversations, according to our friends at TechRepublic. Steve Bunn, BT’s technical manager for defence, warns that the iPhone 7 they will start using, is being modified so that it can switch between different modes of operation and levels of security , depending on the sensitivity of the information involved in a particular call.
We’ve been working very closely (with the Ministry of Defense) to develop what we’ve commonly called a dual-personality device,” Bunn said.
In addition to enabling secure communications between staff, work is also underway to make the iPhone a tool for retaining sensitive data.
They call it secure storage containers , presumably they are talking about some kind of hidden files or folders that are encrypted, this could allow the secrets of the different agents of the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom, to store such information , for a later use, or simply be used to transport data between locations without transmitting it through the different networks.
Due to security concerns, BT officials were unable to provide further details on iPhone 7 customization.
The beginnings were hard, especially if you use an Android
The project did not originally use an iPhone, BT opted for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 , but that changed. As more and more testing was done, security was not considered sufficient, Bunn says, so the iPhone’s security credentials are better suited to our system , making it a more viable device.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7
BT’s business development director Derek Stretch says there’s another compelling reason to move to the iPhone. According to Stretch, the iPhone 7 is already being widely used for these purposes , potentially making deployment of the more secure versions easier for both support teams and users.
The switch to the iPhone 7 for security reasons runs counter to the smartphone market trend of high security devices, such as the Boeing Black and the Silent Circle Blackphone . These high-priced smartphones typically employ a modified version of Android that adds more layers of security than regular manufacturers.
The difficulty in thwarting iOS security has forced some parts of the US government to take steps to try to weaken backdoor encryption, although this is being met with resistance from Apple itself.