Apple iPhone 7 is being hardened to handle military-grade secrets

January 25, 2017

The iPhone 7 is being turned into a phone capable of safeguarding military-level secrets for the UK armed forces.

Telecoms giant BT is hardening the security of the device to allow UK military personnel to use it to discuss ‘secret’ matters and for storing sensitive data.

Describing the iPhone 7 as the “device of choice” for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Steve Bunn, technical business manager for defence at BT, said the phone will be capable of being switched between different modes, depending on the sensitivity of the call.

“We’ve been working very closely with them to develop what we’ve commonly called a ‘dual-persona device’.

“Essentially [it] means you can have voice at official and at secret.”

BT is also working with the MoD to create “secure storage containers” on the device to hold sensitive data, he said.

Describing the work as “going very well”, he said BT originally began working with an Android device, the Samsung Note 4.

“But as more and more development and testing was done, the security associated with it wasn’t deemed to be sufficient, so that’s why we moved [to iPhone].”

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