Boeing Plans Self-Destructing Smartphone

by Istvan Fekete on February 27, 2014

The name of Boeing is known as an aircraft company that designs, manufactures, and sells fixed-wing aircraft, rotocraft, rockets and satellites. But two years ago rumours surfaced about the company being interested in building a secure Android smartphone. As it turns out, the rumours were true: the aircraft giant does indeed plan to release a handset dubbed as the “Black” phone.

However, don’t expect to buy this handset from your local electronics store – some of its features do actually remind us of the spy phones featured in novels. What’s interesting is the company’s targeted market: the manufacturer aims to sell it primarily to government agencies and companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defense and homeland security.

The details come from the aircraft giant’s filing with the FCC, and were spotted by GeekWire. Here are a couple of interesting features that make the handset a must-have for all who take their privacy very, very seriously.

“Boeing’s Black phone will be sold primarily to government agencies and companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defense and homeland security,” a lawyer for the company says in a letter accompanying the filing. “The device will be marketed and sold in a manner such that low level technical and operational information about the product will not be provided to the general public. Detailed technical information distributed at trade shows will be limited or protected by non-disclosure agreements.”

“There are no serviceable parts on Boeing’s Black phone and any attempted servicing or replacing of parts would destroy the product. The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof covering to identify attempted disassembly.”

To highlight one of the security layers Boeing plans to build into the device: any attempt to break open the casing of the device triggers a function that will delete the data and software contained on the device, and make it unusable to the attacker.

Also, the limited accessible images reveal that the Black phone will have dual SIM cards, and variety of options for connectivity.

Well, the Firefox OS initiative has made smartphones accessible for every user in the developing world, thanks to its price tag. Now, I think it’s fair to assume that the Black phone won’t be a cheap smartphone. One interesting aspect though: it will run a custom version of Android, an already existing smartphone platform, which, by the way, is dubbed as the most insecure according to the latest data released by Kaspersky.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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