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

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, Networking, BlackBerry

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4 comments
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  • Lame Samsung. You chose Android knowing it's security swiss cheese, and you

    chose not to fix it. You have only yourselves to blame. As far as the security hole goes you either
    a) knew it and didnt fix it
    b) did too inept a security review to find it
    c) didnt do a security review at all
    Any of which should convince everyone believe knox is not secure.
    Johnny Vegas
  • The Enterprise Market

    Who ever thinks the "Enterprise" market will provide enough sales to keep Blackberry alive is deluding themselves, wooohoooo 80,000 for the defence dept, that would keep Foxconn working for like 4 hours, they are just shrivelling in the vacuum of zero sales, they will not see out 2014
    swedish_chef_dave@...
  • Oops. turns out they aren't buying 80,000 new phones

    all the DOD said was that was their new network will support the 80,000 BB they currently have.

    Stock's down 5%
    William.Farrel
  • Blackberry QWERTY keyboard is Gold; security very good

    Blackberry should build their own QWERTY sleeve keyboard(slides into iPhone 5S), license it to Apple, make some money from it and rebuld the Q10 design. Instead of spending money fighting off a start-up from trying this and since the truth is typing on an iPhone is challenging, so no matter how good the software is, typos increase with one -finger typing. Second, Blacberry does have good security, makes Android look weak, but their Apps store was still breached, fact is no OS can stoop hackers without soft/hardware based security in Mobile Apps processor ship. Why do 3rd party keyboards exist for iPhone/iPad devices? Keyboard can not handle real long-term commercial correspondence. As for Google selling Motorola Mobility, the real issue is they can not win in CHina, all foreign companies will be pushed out because of Techno-nationalism and protectionsim, even being Taiwanese (HTC), didn't help them sell much inside China. Unless Western companies and Governments complain, lights out for most foreign cell phone and components peripheral companies in China., hiring Chinese GMs and local lobbyists to influence has done nothing in the past 10-15 years, ask Microsoft, IBM, Google, where are all thse companies profits from the China market? There are smarter ways to negoitate with China, in the end Apple has it right. Moto, Nokia, MS, used to be leaders in CHina, now all are basically gone from CHina (except Android OS, of course).
    karljweaver