India Claims To Have Cracked Blackberry Encryption; Proudly Spying On Emails

from the details-missing dept

Earlier this year, India demanded that RIM allow it to easily snoop on any email messages sent via Blackberry devices. The company explained that since the end user sets the encryption key, there’s simply no way to provide a backdoor to snoop on the messages. However, now the government is proudly claiming that it’s cracked the code and can now monitor Blackberry messages on various mobile operator networks. The details are quite vague, especially an offhand comment about how this is “wholly for non-enterprise solutions.” That would suggest, then, that enterprise Blackberry messages may remain secure. It also raises questions about whether or not the mobile operators in question are simply providing access to their mail servers. Either way, the whole thing seems weird — including the government’s effort to publicize the fact that it’s spying on Blackberry messages.

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Comments on “India Claims To Have Cracked Blackberry Encryption; Proudly Spying On Emails”

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36 Comments
Raghubir Singh says:

Every country has the right to spy on any form of communications to protect the citizens from terrorists and related activities. This should be done in the name of security. I have no problem with any govt, if my emails are read, my telephone calls are traced; I don’t care–as long as I am safe.
I give this privacy thing away for security and encourage every body to do so.
Only people who want to hide things from govt, would cry against this i the name of stupid privacy crap.

Derek Cramer (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin

There are many legal (read: non-terrorist) motives for having privacy. You are not doing anything illegal in the bathroom or bedroom, but I don’t know anyone that would want the government in there with them.

Overcast says:

Re: Re:

I have no problem with any govt, if my emails are read, my telephone calls are traced; I don’t care–as long as I am safe.

Safe from who? Certainly not safe from the Government. Of course, this is 2008, we don’t have to worry about Government anymore, it’s so very kind and always out for our best interests!!

Of course, that wasn’t true 20+ years ago, but the media and others will have you believe it is now.

Your Gawd and Master says:

Re: Re:

You obviously haven’t watched the video on why you should never talk to the police even if you are 100% innocent. There was a video a while back circulating about it and the professor who was making that claim let a police detective get the last word. Know what HE had to say about it? “You’re 100% correct. We don’t try to prosecute innocent people but anything you say can and will be used against you.”

In that same video it’s pointed out that while a police officer can SAY that he’ll put in a good word for you in court, he’s lying because he’s Constitutionally prohibited from doing so. He can say all the bad stuff in the world about you but can’t talk about how you cooperated fully and actually gave him a lead to the real criminal even though you’re the one defending your “innocent” self.

So trust them all you want and let me know who you are so we can get your naive ass locked up for life and out of the way of people who want REAL freedom.

Beam Me Up Scotty says:

Re: government is honest?

You have to be kidding, politicians are the biggest liars and thieves on the planet and you want them to have all access to information?

Won’t allowing political government people to have access to all our information allow them to use it against you. In the USA the government has zero right/power to invade our papers home or person to know all our secrets. Read the constitution and get a life.

Simon says:

More details

http://www.heise-online.co.uk/security/Times-of-India-reports-alleged-BlackBerry-decryption–/news/111584

“The decryption claim relates to listening in on unencrypted BIS traffic only. Since these messages are forwarded unencrypted outside the BIS anyway, it hardly represents a breakthrough by the Indian security services.”

Raghubir Singh, you are a tool.

Hypo says:

Your Gawd and Master

It probably is best to invoke your right to silence. However, you are mistaken when you say that the police are constitutionally prohibited from putting the good word in for you. In the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, there is a a provision known as a 5k where the gov. does just that – they vouch for the cooperation provided by the accused. Also, if the gov has exculpatory information it must turn that over to the defense.

Ananth says:

Before talking about other countries in the world one has to realize I mean folks/citizens of the so called world power “THE US” did evesdrop on their own citizens phone calls … so it is not matter which country is doing it, it is all about why the country is doing it … US did it for their own personal reasons and India is doing it for their own personal reasons. How in this world does encrypting a blackberry message be different from evesdropping. I believe most of you are intelligent here, so please do educate me with your expertise especially the one who gave a pathetic example of “Bedroom/Bathroom”. Come on guys be realistic. US spys on every freaking individual, there is no security of ones personal records.

My point is, one cannot avoid such things no matter which country one lives in. You are being watched day in and day out. We think we are more secured with our personal records. Our entire personal record is available by some means or the other, so encrypting a black berry message come on big deal!!!!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

It is a different world here

The Indian government would definitely be proud what they have “achieved”.
The world here is different. A lot different from the West. We are at a higher security risk here and government eavesdropping on messages and calls is a “security measure” here.
I may know that what they claim is absurd and/or dangerous.
But the illiterate shopkeeper down the lane feels safe that the government is “doing something to protect him”. He will vote for the same government again, because of its “technical superiority” in “handling terrorism”. I do not blame him – when he sees bloodshed in the market, all he can do is hope.
This is a different world here. Equally far from the US and China…

Mordaxus (user link) says:

Raised Eyebrow Department

That’s hard to believe, because the BB has a complete cryptosystem on the handset complete with hardware crypto. The mails are encrypted on the handset.

However, it is well known in infosec that one of the best ways to spy on someone is to convince them that the secure system they are using has been breached, in the hopes that they will switch to an insecure system.

My bet is there.

Anonymous Coward says:

I still don’t understand why idiots post here. You’d think the basic subject matter of economics would require some intelligence. Customer Service folks in India. Sheesh. What’s wrong with you people?

Every country but the USA knows that all governments are corrupt. Just keep hiding your head in the sand, ostrich boy.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Every country but the USA knows that all governments are corrupt.”

That is the biggest joke I have ever heard don’t you ever watch TV, they talk about so much corruption in US government. I appreciate your patriotism my Kudos to you. :)) As your name sounds right “Anonymous Coward” you are one of a kind, so there is no point in arguing with you buddy.

Anyways, back to the point of this article. I would like to see if there is a way to crack blackberry encryption. Because I totally agree with “there’s simply no way to provide a backdoor to snoop on the messages”.

Nitin says:

Don't trust Times of India

First of all a “Time of India” news should never be taken on it’s face value. All the journalists there are concerned with only whats going on Britney Spear’s life.

As far as Indian govt. is concerned after recent bomb activities in several Indian cities, Indian govt. is very keen on sniffing all networks. In fact, this sniffing got them to arrest some techie terrorists responsible for Delhi blasts. No wonder, the govt. is keen on doing this.

I am not sure why the govt. would openly let ppl know why it’s doing this. Only reason could be cuz it can afford to do so unlike in US. Also sniffing doesn’t mean that someone gets to read all your net activities. It only means that if you are visiting terrorist sites too often or convey such things over mail. In such a case you are most likely a terrorist and must be dealt with.

Take the finnish incident for eg. the guy posted his youtube video of holding out gun etc. Police were alrted they even confronted him. However cuz of no proper evidence he was allowed to let go and next day he shot several ppl.

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