Boeing is to produce a smartphone that (from a software perspective at least) self-destructs if somebody tries to tamper with it.
The Boeing Black is aimed at government contractors, the military and security agencies. Its existence had been rumoured for a couple of years, but it’s now been publicly confirmed thanks to a regulatory filing with the Federal Communications Commission.
The biggest security feature is designed to stave off physical attacks rather than software hacking. The phone will have a “tamper-proof” coating on the screws that reveals any attempts to tamper with it.
If somebody does try to disassemble the device, it will trigger a self-destruct function. That doesn’t mean it will disappear in a puff of smoke, but rather that it will delete both the data and the software and then make the phone inoperable.
The phone will work with virtually all worldwide frequency bands (including those for GSM, 3G and 4G) and a dual-SIM means it can be set up to quickly switch from public networks to restricted government frequencies.
It will also be set up to easily integrate with optional add-on security measures and tools. These could include biometric sensors, extra batteries and even satellite connections.
Although the Boeing Black will run Android, it most certainly will not be an open source project. In fact the full specifications and operating details will only be made available to potential customers who sign up to non-disclosure agreements.
One drawback of the tight security is that there’ll be no way to service or upgrade components.
The handset shouldn’t be confused with the Blackphone. That’s an Android phone produced by another company that runs software that encrypts all voice calls, texts, e-mails and Internet browsing.