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The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense has chosen Apple's iPhone 7 over Samsung as the "device of choice" for its military personnel, according to a report by TechRepublic this week.

Telecoms company BT is said to be working with the country's MoD to harden the security of the phone so that military officers can discuss and store sensitive information on the device. Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defense at BT, said the phone would eventually be capable of being switched between different modes depending on which security level was appropriate.

MOD_Sign_MOD_45154855-800x534.jpg
Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD

"We've been working very closely with them to develop what we've commonly called a 'dual-persona device'. Essentially this means you can have voice at official and at secret."
BT is also working with the MoD to create "secure storage containers" on the device to hold sensitive data, revealed Bunn.

BT is said to have begun using a Samsung Note 4 to develop the bespoke military communications device, but testing quickly revealed that the security of the Android OS wasn't sufficient and the project was transferred to Apple's phone.

Despite Apple's high-profile reputation for upholding iOS security standards, the MoD's switch to iPhone bucks a trend in the defense industry, which tends to prefer phones running Android because of the ease with which the operating system can be altered.

As noted by TechRepublic, the GSMK CryptoPhone, which runs a heavily stripped-down version of Android, is currently in active use among military and security bodies around the world.

Update: BT has since contacted MacRumors with the following statement: "We would like to clarify that the MoD has not expressed any views about the suitability of dual-persona technology from specific handset/technology vendors and is prototyping a range of devices."

Article Link: iPhone 7 Ousts Samsung Handset as 'Device of Choice' For U.K. Defense Officials [Updated]
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,246
1,125
Destin, FL
It seems almost incredible that it wasn't the case from the start.
Billion dollar aircraft are running Windows. Above top secret military / contractor groups are running Windows.

Four stages of security ( one armed ) to get into the building, not to count the perimeter guards and ID / vehicle inspection at the entry gates and they are running Windows.

Me = completely baffled
 

smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
This means nothing. Call me when iPhone gets the same interest, excitement and market share it did during the years 2007-2012.
 
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keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,287
Billion dollar aircraft are running Windows. Above top secret military / contractor groups are running Windows.

It's Windows XP too, if I'm not mistaken! Or possibly even earlier.

I heard the entire US nuclear program still uses 8-inch floppy disks. Less to go wrong I suppose; well, unless you've got a magnet within a 10 mile radius.

Pretty scary how many things seem to be running on hopes and bubblegum. Mind you, they got a man on the moon using a 'computer' that essentially served a calculator, so who are we to judge. :)
 

chr1s60

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,984
1,543
California
This means nothing. Call me when iPhone gets the same interest, excitement and market share it did during the years 2007-2012.

That is like asking Ford to bring back the market share of the Model T. It won't happen. The cell phone industry is extremely more competitive now than it was then. Back then the market was content with where they were. Today every manufacturer is trying to find the next killer feature and it's likely that nobody will ever get a multiple year lead again like Apple did with iOS and iPhone.
 

yanksfan114

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2011
339
922
Hmm. Since it's unlikely that they're going to use a custom iOS, it sounds like they're just going to write some apps.

Probably a secure documents storage and viewer, a secure email, and an encrypted voice comms app using data instead of cellular.
Yeah their customization of iOS can only go so far compared to android which is obviously why it can be more secure. Interested about this dual persona mode though.
 

RDowson

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2010
279
69
Glasgow, Scotland
The devices will just be enrolled in an MDM (so they can disable the camera, etc.) and they will have secure apps for file storage. They'll probably use a secure VoIP app for calls. Simple stuff but the key thing is the security of the OS that it sits on. iOS ticks all the boxes.
They're probably also using DEP and VPP so re-provisioning can be done in the field without needing the device to be returned to base. This is one of Android for Work's major flaws right now.
 

Saipher

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2014
300
1,147
CA, USA
Well, no surprise there... This would be "news" if they decided to go with an Android phone instead.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,927
The devices will just be enrolled in an MDM (so they can disable the camera, etc.) and they will have secure apps for file storage. They'll probably use a secure VoIP app for calls. Simple stuff but the key thing is the security of the OS that it sits on. iOS ticks all the boxes.
They're probably also using DEP and VPP so re-provisioning can be done in the field without needing the device to be returned to base. This is one of Android for Work's major flaws right now.

Since there's no headphone jack, are Bluetooth connections completely secure and unhackable? Or will they be required to use Lightning headphones and/or adapters?
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Since there's no headphone jack, are Bluetooth connections completely secure and unhackable? Or will they be required to use Lightning headphones and/or adapters?

Excellent point about BT audio being something that could be intercepted and heard. (Edit: a Google search reveals that this has actually be done up to a mile away using a high gain antenna.)

This applies not only to BT headphones, but in a car speaker situation as well.

Bet they disable it.
 
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heimo

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2010
309
178
Indirect fire immediately at the following coord...
Siri: I'm sorry I can't help you with that.
 
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RDowson

macrumors 6502
May 22, 2010
279
69
Glasgow, Scotland
Since there's no headphone jack, are Bluetooth connections completely secure and unhackable? Or will they be required to use Lightning headphones and/or adapters?
iOS 10 allows Bluetooth to be disabled via MDM policy.

The UK National Cyber Security Centre End User Device Guidance for iOS 10 says the following:
"A new MDM policy setting (Allow modifying Bluetooth settings) has been added in iOS 10 to restrict Bluetooth modification. This could be set to further reduce the attack surface, but would prevent legitimate functionality."

"Enabling external interfaces means increasing the exposed attack surface, and data could be inadvertently or maliciously leaked without organisation visibility. Therefore a risk based decision should be made to determine if this control is appropriate."
 

smacrumon

macrumors 68030
Jan 15, 2016
2,683
4,010
That is like asking Ford to bring back the market share of the Model T. It won't happen. The cell phone industry is extremely more competitive now than it was then. Back then the market was content with where they were. Today every manufacturer is trying to find the next killer feature and it's likely that nobody will ever get a multiple year lead again like Apple did with iOS and iPhone.
Nah, it's totally possible. Apple needs to decide in 2017 whether it wants to continue mediocrity, or it wants to blow the world's psyche again.
 

CallMeAlan

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2017
1
7



The U.K.'s Ministry of Defense has chosen Apple's iPhone 7 over Samsung as the "device of choice" for its military personnel, according to a report by TechRepublic this week.

Telecoms company BT is said to be working with the country's MoD to harden the security of the phone so that military officers can discuss and store sensitive information on the device. Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defense at BT, said the phone would eventually be capable of being switched between different modes depending on which security level was appropriate.

MOD_Sign_MOD_45154855-800x534.jpg

Photo: Harland Quarrington/MOD

BT is also working with the MoD to create "secure storage containers" on the device to hold sensitive data, revealed Bunn.

BT is said to have begun using a Samsung Note 4 to develop the bespoke military communications device, but testing quickly revealed that the security of the Android OS wasn't sufficient and the project was transferred to Apple's phone.

Despite Apple's high-profile reputation for upholding iOS security standards, the MoD's switch to iPhone bucks a trend in the defense industry, which tends to prefer phones running Android because of the ease with which the operating system can be altered.

As noted by TechRepublic, the GSMK CryptoPhone, which runs a heavily stripped-down version of Android, is currently in active use among military and security bodies around the world.

Article Link: iPhone 7 Ousts Samsung Handset as 'Device of Choice' For U.K. Defense Officials
[doublepost=1485534847][/doublepost]I think you'll find that we call it the Ministry of Defence, ie, we spell defence correctly.
 
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