Pakistan To Shut Down BlackBerry Enterprise Server Over Security Concerns

July 29, 2015

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On July 27, 2015, Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority ordered local cellular operators to shut down the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) due to security concerns. BES is a service that lets BlackBerry users communicate between various BES-compatible devise. BES is an encrypted secure communication platform that cannot be intercepted.

The Pakistani agency released the following message: “DUE TO SERIOUS CONCERNS BY THE SECURITY AGENCY, MOBILINK, UFONE, AND TELENOR PAKISTAN ARE REQUESTED TO OFFER 90 DAYS NOTICE AS PER THE EXISTING PROVISIONS TO THEIR BES CUSTOMERS FOR CLOSING THEIR BES CONNECTIONS, AND ENSURE THAT ALL BES CONNECTIONS OF THEIR CUSTOMERS MUST BE CLOSED BY OR BEFORE NOVEMBER 30 WITHOUT FAIL.”

Khurram Mehran, a spokesman for the agency, confirmed that the secure nature of BES was behind the order. He said: “The decision to block the BES was taken on the directives of the Interior Ministry due to security reasons… There was a challenge that the BlackBerry email service could not be tracked or decoded, which leads to the security reasons.”

Source: Hackread.com, July 27, 2015.