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Australia Shows How to 'Harden' iPhones for Secret Use

Australia has given the OK to government officials who want to use their iPhones for classified communications.
/ Source: SecurityNewsDaily

Australia has given the OK to government officials who want to use their iPhones for classified communications.

Australia's Defense Signals Directorate, a government cybersecurity agency, published a set of guidelines officials must adhere to in order to user their iOS devices on the job. The " iOS Hardening Configuration Guide"  mandates that officials must run iOS 5.1 or higher and "all classified network traffic must be encrypted."

The 71-page manual also calls for iPhone users to implement alphanumeric passcodes with a minimum of eight characters, which they must change after 90 days. The "Ask to join networks" feature should be turned off to prevent devices connecting to an unknown Wi-Fi signal, the document states.

As the Register pointed out, employees are allowed to access only "protected" information on their devices, and not "confidential, " secret" or "top secret" information.

U.S. government and military personnel may soon get a smartphone-security boost of their own, by way of a new Android phone built by Boeing specifically for high-level officials.

In a National Defense article, Brian Palma, vice president of Boeing's secure infrastructure group, and Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network and Space Systems, said Boeing is developing a line of super-secure and encrypted Android phones.

The "Boeing phone," as its being called, is scheduled for a launch late this year. Boeing said it is looking to beat the price of similar encrypted, specially made devices, which often go for $15,000 to $20,000 per phone. The Boeing phone, however, will not be offered at a "mass market price point," Palma said.