The United States Air Force has over 30,000 BlackBerrys in their inventory, accounting for over 50 percent of the Department of Defense’s total BlackBerry deployment. During the month of March, the Air Force will be implementing security updates to their BlackBerrys in order to better protect the organization from cyber threats.
The following configuration changes will be implemented within the month of March:
- Users will no longer have the capability to send or receive text messages with attached photos or videos. Text-only messaging will remain enabled.
- If a device is being synched and its software is out-of-date, a “Force Load” message will appear. The user will only have one opportunity to decline updating the software. Any subsequent syncing attempts will render the device inoperative until the software is updated.
- Users will not be able to download additional applications to their devices over the Internet.
- Most Bluetooth functionality will be disabled. The only Bluetooth feature that will continue to function will be linking the device to the smart card reader cradle.
- Users will no longer be able to connect their smart card reader cradle to their computers.
Could it be that the recent stories of corporate espionage have the DoD spooked on potential cyber threats?