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Boeing Announces “Self-Destructing” Phone

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Aircraft engineering experts target security-conscious governments and organisations with Boeing Black smartphone

Aircraft engineering firm Boeing has revealed its security-focused smartphone, the Boeing Black, which promises secure communications for high-ranking users.

Originally announced back in 2012, the device is targeted at the US military and security forces, with several features designed specifically to allow top secret communications to be carried out securely. It is unlikely to go on public sale, with no details released regarding its price or availability, as Boeing will look to sell the devices itself.

“The Boeing Black smartphone was designed with security and modularity in mind to ensure our customers can use the same smartphone across a range of missions and configurations,” said the company.

boeing-black-specsTop secret

The Boeing Black runs a heavily-modified version of Android featuring the company’s own-branded security apps.

Weighing 170g, it features a 4.3 inch 540 x 960 qHD screen and is powered by a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex processor. It is able to connect to LTE networks and Bluetooth, and offers dual-SIM capability, meaning users can switch between work and personal networks.

But it is the security provisions which really set the Boeing Black apart from regular devices. The physical hardware of the device cannot be altered, with the company saying that there are no serviceable parts anywhere in the phone. It will be sold as sealed device requiring special effort to break, and features tamper-proof coverings which will identify any attempts to dissemble the phone.

It can also detect any attempt to break open the casing of the device, as any forced entry will trigger functions that will delete the data and software on the phone, making it inoperable.

However the phone can be specially adapted by certain users, who can attach components to reach special networks, expand the battery or attach biometric sensors.

Boeing already provides secure communications for US government officials, including the president himself. The release of the Boeing Black comes as the US government faces increased scrutiny regarding the activites of the NSA, which apparently monitored the phone records of millions worldwide, including prominent political leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The NSA recently announced that former US Navy Cybersecurity chief Michael Rogers would be its new leader following the departure of General Keith Alexander, whose position has come under major scrutiny following the myriad of revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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