06 Mar Boeing Unveils Self-Destructing Phone To Secure Sensitive Data
In true Mission: Impossible style, Boeing has designed a phone that will self destruct if tampered with. The device, aptly named ‘Black’, was designed for those charged with keeping their nations’ secrets secure, such as the military and intelligence agencies.
According to Boeing, “current devices are not designed from inception with the security and flexibility needed” by securities agencies.
Thus the Boeing Black was born, a smartphone combining security and flexibility.
Classified as a “sealed device,” it has countermeasures that protect it from both physical and digital interference.
The hardware countermeasures include epoxy around the casing, a protective material that provides incredible resistance to corrosive chemicals, heat, and ultra-violet light (source: netcomposites) and screws with tamper-proof heads to identify attempted disassembly.
On the software side, Boeing has used the Google Android operating system with “enhanced software security” to provide another layer of data protection.
So what happens when the device is tampered with?
While there aren’t any Ethan Hunt style explosions, the entire content of the phone is wiped thus protecting any sensitive information from prying eyes.
A spokesperson for Boeing said in a press conference last week, “any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and makes the device inoperable.”
The 13mm thick Android device has a 540×960 pixel 4.3-inch screen and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. While these specs aren’t particularly impressive, Boeing claims their phone has “unparalleled modularity” with the capacity to integrate satellite connectivity, additional sensors and battery packs.
As if the phone’s defence mechanisms weren’t enough, purchasers will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement so technical and operational information about the phone will not become public knowledge.
Although Boeing has not yet announced a release date for the phone, a spokesperson stated it would be “soon”.
However, it doesn’t look like the Boeing Black will be available for sale to anyone outside specialist government agencies.
In a letter to the Federal Communication Commission (via Mashable), counsel to Boeing, Bruce Olcott stated that the phone is being developed primarily for “companies engaged in contractual activities with those agencies that are related to defence and homeland security.”
Unfortunately, 007 wannabes will have to find another way to live out their spy fantasies.
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