News - La Cartita

For Security Minded Activists, A Cheap $BB Blackberry Priv Model May Help

La Cartita --- For years, Blackberry has rolled out cellphones running Android OS software. In a world of constant data breaches against both Apple and Android operating systems, Blackberry continues to offer an alternative for the security minded. Even basic environment tweeks, like not having the same exact OS as 90 percent of the world, may be enough to avoid the worst of automated hacking techniques that have been honed to avoid the basic security checks developed for the Google playstore.

Basic Features Of An Average Blackberry Android Phone

The PRIV model - when compared to an Iphone - is relatively cheap. Most ring in at about 200 dollars, with higher grade models offered at 400 to 500 dollars.

We are not looking to be exhaustive. Just trying to place the idea out there that moving away from a completely Android or Apple environment may be helpful in these times. Simply moving away from mass market products places one in a slightly less risk environment since Malware developers are running a numbers game. They're not targeting anyone specifically, but rather exploiting some vulnerability that hasnt been patched in a piece of software.

The Blackberry models are typically running the latest Android OS, which is compatible with Blackberry's DTEK software. The DTEK application announces via a push notification what information other applications are accessing. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 'System on Chip' design can handle virtually any task. This makes the Blackberry compatible with ubiquotous computing tasks, like running a malware like social media application, and running a proxy VPN with no loss on performance.

Running 4G GSM, Blackberry With Signal: A Winning Combination

Those choosing a combination of non-standard applications, like DTEK, encrypted applications e.g Signal, WhatsApp, can amplify the intended effect by always connecting to 4G wireless networks. Lower grade networks are easier to 'spoof' for malicious law enforcement and non-law enforcement purposes. The 'Stingray' model, a machine that acts as a fake cellphone tower, rummages through all phone traffic data and it is presumed that 2G and 3G connections are left even more vulnerable. In a 4G wireless networks, however, some hacks are reported to be a degree more difficult.

Closing Remarks: Malware Built For Scale, Not Edge Cases

On a speculative note, the assumed paths for retrieving sensitive metadata logs are different on a non-standard OS like Blackberry. In other words, state and non-state actors are assuming an identical file structure that may or may not exist in rarer operating systems.

Related:

Phantom Phones CEO Arrested For Selling Custom Blackberry Phones to Alleged Cartel Operators (3/11/2018)

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