BlackBerry maker gets NIST nod

NIST's Cryptographic Module Validation Program Web site

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National Institute of Standards and Technology officials named Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the wireless BlackBerry, as the recipient today of NIST's 500th cryptographic module certification. Since 1995, NIST-approved laboratories have tested and validated hundreds of cryptographic hardware and software modules.

NIST officials issued the 500th certificate to Research in Motion for its BlackBerry cryptographic kernel, firmware that performs all basic cryptographic functions for the BlackBerry. Certification means that the module conforms to Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2. Federal agencies are required to use only validated cryptographic modules.

NIST officials operate the Cryptographic Module Validation Program in conjunction with the Canadian government. NIST officials have accredited nine laboratories in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom to test cryptographic modules.

A statement from Research in Motion officials said a number of government organizations are using handheld BlackBerrys to support continuity of operations planning. Federal BlackBerry users are storing emergency preparedness information, standard operating procedures, emergency call lists and other documents on the handheld computers.

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