Boeing making self-destructing 'spy phone'

According to an FCC filing, aerospace company Boeing is developing a smartphone that will 'self-destruct', deleting all of its data and software, if the phone is tampered with.

The phone, which is simply called 'Black', will run an Android-based OS capable of deleting all of its data if the device is physically tampered with in any way. According to Boeing, the phone is sealed with epoxy and tamper-proof screws, and any attempt made to break open the casing will trigger a self-destruct mechanism which deletes all of the device's data and software.

Users who want to see the Boeing Black in action shouldn't get their hopes up, though: the phone is designed with spies and government agencies in mind, to "ensure that data and voice communications undertaken by their respective employees are transmitted and stored in a highly secure manner." Boeing also asserts that since the phone contains "trade secrets", all technical information and specifications on the phone will be obscured - and those who are issued a Boeing Black will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement ensuring that they keep quiet about the specs.

There's been no word yet on how many orders Boeing has received for its new spy phone, but considering that the company has previously developed technologies for the United States Department of Defense, amongst other agencies, there's a good chance that some major players will be making good use of it in the near future.

Source: QZ.com | Image via Google

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31 Comments

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AsherGZ said,
Ever heard of a little company called Martin Lockheed?
Not really, no. Is that a sister concern of Lockheed Martin?

Romero said,
Not really, no. Is that a sister concern of Lockheed Martin?

They're called LockMart, like a certain all-in-one superstore. And per their way of bidding on contracts, well...

"Welcome to LockMart, your one-stop shopping stop for defensive weapons and systems. Today's special is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, just $90 million. Engines, avionics and weapons optional, please see attachment A for all a la cart pricing."

Here's a link to the site talking about it: http://www.boeing.com/boeing/d...e-space/ic/black/index.page

One big thing is that it's assembled in the USA. Bringing jobs back here is a great thing.
Features: (1) Satellite Transceiver, (2)Solar Powered, (3)Biometrics, (4)Non-tamper case, and (5)two sim cards (eg. possibly dual boot/ two phone brains?).

http://www.boeing.com/assets/p...smartphone_product_card.pdf

Looks like a secure-mobile job opportunity: https://jobs.boeing.com/JobSeeker/JobView?reqcode=13-1023097

Also a patent: https://www.google.com/patents/WO2013106163A1 ("A system and method for secure communication").

FCC Filing: https://apps.fcc.gov/oetcf/eas...d=723549&fcc_id=H8VBLK1

https://apps.fcc.gov/eas/GetAp...nAttachment.html?id=2199397

Edited by liferunner, Feb 28 2014, 6:25am :

liferunner said,
One big thing is that it's assembled in the USA. Bringing jobs back here is a great thing.
I highly doubt bringing back jobs was the reason behind this decision. Given it's a device to be used in sensitive situations it makes no sense to have it manufactured in China and risk some sort of backdoor being baked in, either in the hardware or software.

This is the power and advantage of the Android operating system and Google's policies. There are just so many contributors in Android Universe and not just one company. It's of no wonder the Android momentum is unstoppable.

VictorWho said,
This is the power and advantage of the Android operating system and Google's policies. There are just so many contributors in Android Universe and not just one company. It's of no wonder the Android momentum is unstoppable.

Mmhmm. Lets gloss over the fact that you don't need to open this device to steal it's data ... it runs Android, hell any kiddy hacker can get the data out of it !

jamieakers said,

Mmhmm. Lets gloss over the fact that you don't need to open this device to steal it's data ... it runs Android, hell any kiddy hacker can get the data out of it !


Very true. The biggest flaw with android is USB.

n_K said,

Very true. The biggest flaw with android is USB.

I was thinking the Marketplace personally, or more specifically it's poor app certification process. Not saying any other vendor has it perfect, but there's certainly more secure ways of doing it. Interested to know what phone you use that doesn't have USB?

jamieakers said,

I was thinking the Marketplace personally, or more specifically it's poor app certification process. Not saying any other vendor has it perfect, but there's certainly more secure ways of doing it. Interested to know what phone you use that doesn't have USB?


It's not that it has USB that causes the problem, it's that it has vulnerable USB modes that are susceptable to exploits

If the entire thing is so "secretive" and people have to sign a NDA to use the device.... why advertising? I guess, and hope, that potential clients do not have to check Neowin to find out that such device exists. Unless of course it is a scam to sell this secret marvel to the bad guys.... with a back door.....

if this 'self-destruct' can be controlled remotely and LEGAL,
thats Corporations' (forced) planned obsoloscene, dream came true.

Torolol said,
if this 'self-destruct' can be controlled remotely and LEGAL,
thats Corporations' (forced) planned obsoloscene, dream came true.

Of course! Way simpler than just having the device do it by itself after a random time!

Romero said,
Self destruct doesn't mean it's gonna blow up like a bomb. Did you read the article?

It's Neowin standard practice to read the Headline and make up the article contents.

Awesome :-). This is nothing more than a false sense of security, I mean BOEING? really? Unless it changes voice patterns and the people you're calling are all strangers, this is useless.