BlackBerry shares rocket on Defense Dept. vote of confidence; hits out at Samsung's Knox

Summary:And gets aggressive by slamming Samsung's Knox for being "easily" hackable.

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$BBRY stock at lunchtime trading Image: Google Finance

BlackBerry stock is up by close to 9 percent in early-afternoon Tuesday trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange on news that the U.S. Defense Dept. will buy 80,000 smartphones from the once-ailing company.

The rollout will begin January 31, and include 1,800 Apple and Android devices as part of a $16 million project to give military users access to secure information on the go.

It comes at a time where the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, which in recent months has seen heads roll in senior management  in efforts to turn the company around, is refocusing on the lucrative enterprise customer due to the collapse of its consumer market.

Shares in BlackBerry ($BBRY) are hovering just shy of $10 per share, the highest it has been in months.

On Monday, BlackBerry also took to its company blog to throw a few jibes at its emerging enterprise-focused rival Samsung by pointing to a hole in its bring-your-own-device Knox security software.

Samsung has been pushing hard into the enterprise space in order to diversify its business, with concerns from analysts that the Korean electronics giant may not be able to sustain its weight in the smartphone world for the long-term.

Knox, the secure enterprise platform, suffered in the headlines recently  after concerns were raised that it was vulnerable to a data leak. Samsung pointed the finger at Google's Android operating system, which Knox runs on, as the culprit.

BlackBerry questioned on its blog in regards to the "critical" flaw: "Is Knox ready for the enterprise and government customers who cannot risk the security of their mobile data?"

Naturally, it took to tooting its own trumpet as its mobile device management (MDM) solution powers not just BlackBerry device, but iPhones, iPads, and Android-based devices.

"Knox only works on select Samsung devices," the blog wrote, in rather a damning tone. "Knox has no flexibility for the BYOD trend."

But for those who use it and it works, who are we to judge. BlackBerry may have almost 61 percent in the MDM market share in large enterprises, it says. And while BlackBerry remains the only player in the MDM space to gain "authority to operate" on Defense Dept. networks , Samsung's Knox is catching up, with approval to handle low-level classifications of security clearance.

Topics: Smartphones, BlackBerry, Networking

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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