As smartphone technology continues to advance rapidly, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the security and privacy features of their devices. Recently, a new device has hit the market that aims to address these concerns – the Black Phone. But what exactly is the Black Phone, and how does it stack up when it comes to security ratings? In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the Lowdown on the Black Phone’s Rating.
First off, let’s start with a little background on the Black Phone. The device was developed by SGP Technologies, a joint venture between Silent Circle and Geeksphone, and it’s essentially a modified Android smartphone designed specifically for users who want enhanced security features. Some of the key features of the Black Phone include encrypted voice and text messaging, anonymous web browsing, and a firewall that blocks unwanted traffic. Additionally, the Black Phone comes with a suite of pre-installed privacy-focused apps, including Silent Circle’s secure communication platform.
So, how does the Black Phone rate when it comes to security? In order to answer that question, we need to take a look at some of the most widely recognized security rating systems in use today. One of the most well-known rating systems is the Common Criteria, which is an international standard used to evaluate the security features of IT products. The Common Criteria assesses products across seven different levels of security, with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 7 being the highest.
Another common rating system is the FIPS 140-2 standard, which is used to evaluate the cryptography modules used in various IT products. The FIPS 140-2 standard evaluates modules across four different levels of security, with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 4 being the highest.
So, where does the Black Phone fall on these rating systems? Unfortunately, at this time, the Black Phone has not been evaluated under either the Common Criteria or the FIPS 140-2 standard. This means that we don’t have a definitive answer as to how the device’s security features stack up against other IT products on the market.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Black Phone is without any security certifications. The device has been awarded a number of different certifications, including the following:
– CESG Claims Tested Mark (CCTM): This certification is awarded by the UK’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance (CESG) and is used to indicate that a product has been evaluated against the UK government’s security standards.
– TrustZone Ready: This certification is awarded by ARM, the company that designs the processors used in many smartphones, and indicates that a device is compatible with ARM’s TrustZone security technology.
– Defense Mobile Solution (DMS) listing: This certification is awarded by the US Department of Defense and indicates that a product meets the agency’s stringent security requirements.
While these certifications are certainly impressive, it’s worth noting that none of them provide the same level of rigor as the Common Criteria or FIPS 140-2 evaluations. Additionally, some experts have criticized the CCTM certification as being less stringent than other security certifications.
So, what should potential Black Phone buyers make of all this? Ultimately, it’s up to each individual user to decide if the device’s security features are sufficient for their needs. While the lack of Common Criteria or FIPS 140-2 certifications may give some users pause, the Black Phone’s various other certifications suggest that the device does have robust security features in place.
It’s also worth noting that the Black Phone isn’t the only option for users looking for a secure smartphone. Other devices, such as the Purism Librem 5 and the GrapheneOS-powered Google Pixel, also prioritize security and privacy. These devices have undergone Common Criteria and/or FIPS 140-2 evaluations, which may give some users more confidence in their security features.
In conclusion, while the Black Phone has not been evaluated under the Common Criteria or FIPS 140-2 standards, it has received a number of other certifications that suggest it does have strong security features in place. However, users should carefully consider their own security needs and preferences before deciding whether the Black Phone is the right choice for them.