BlackBerry releases ‘extra secure’ chat function for iOS and Android

BlackBerry is releasing its Protected service, in which chat app Messenger creates its own encryption keys on the device itself to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, for iOS and Android. The Protected service is on top of the existing Messenger.

The service, which came out last year for BlackBerry 10, is intended for companies that want to exchange data in chats that are trade secret. The Canadian company does not want to be able to decrypt the data itself and asks users who want to chat via Protected to exchange a key in a way that BlackBerry cannot see, such as by text message or regular telephone.

With that key, users can then set up a secure connection. BBM Protected uses the chat app’s regular security, which works through tls, and adds an extra layer of security based on various encryption and key exchange standards. Encryption is per message to make eavesdropping more difficult.

Protected users can also chat securely with people who don’t have it. Protected can also be used on iOS and Android as of this week. BlackBerry has said nothing about such a feature for Windows Phone.