BlackBerry on Monday announced the first product in its new enterprise-focused eBBM suite. BBM Protected offers an additional layer of encryption for BBM users with an obvious nod toward security-conscious clients like law firms, government agencies, healthcare providers and banks.
BBM Protected works by issuing separate encryption keys for each message sent instead of a single key used for the entire conversation. This means that a would-be hacker would need to crack the code for each message then piece the conversation together rather than simply cracking one code to gain access to the full back-and-forth dialog.
As PCMag points out, when two BBM Protected users launch a conversation for the first time, they’ll be prompted to create and share a secret passphrase which is used to authenticate their devices and generate encryption keys.
In a statement on the matter, BlackBerry claims the new service is the most secure and reliable real-time mobile messaging experience in the industry. That’s because it’s the only secure mobile instant messaging app that uses a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library.
As you might expect, the service is only available for BlackBerry handsets right now. You’ll need to be running BlackBerry OS 6.0 or later or BlackBerry 10 in Regulated mode for it to work. BBM Protected for Android, iOS and BlackBerry 10 running in Work/Personal Balance mode is expected sometime later this year.