BlackBerry Smart Card Reader Achieves Advanced Security Certification for U.S. Federal Government

 Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) announced today that the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader™ has achieved FIPS 140-2 certification level 3 – the highest certification achieved by any wireless smart card reader on the market. Smart cards support security programs like the U.S. Department of Defense’s Common Access Card (CAC) program and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) which calls for a mandatory, government-wide standard for secure and reliable forms of identification issued by the federal government to its employees and to the employees of federal contractorsFIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) certifications are assigned by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Our customers value the robust security provided with BlackBerry products and services and smart card readers are particularly important within the government sector,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. “This advanced certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader for the U.S. Federal Government demonstrates our ongoing commitment to meet and exceed the expectations of our government customers.”


The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to work with personal identification cards issued by government organizations or other high-security organizations. Users insert a smart card into this lightweight reader and wear it on a lanyard as a two-factor authentication device for secure access to BlackBerry smartphones, desktop computers and facilities.  BlackBerry smartphones and desktop computers automatically lock when the user’s smart card is not in proximity.


FIPS 140-2 level 3 certification of the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader also verifies advanced security features of the smart card reader itself, such as tamper evidence and self destruction of critical security parameters upon device breach.


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Full Details:

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader builds on the security, flexibility and mobility of the trusted BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.

The BlackBerry® Smart Card Reader is designed to allow mobile personnel to meet operational requirements for using multi-factor authentication with Bluetooth®-enabled Microsoft® Windows® computers, BlackBerry® smartphones, PKI applications and for highly secure web browsing—without negatively impacting the user experience.

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader can replace serial or USB based card readers, even if your organization has not deployed a BlackBerry solution. This enables you to benefit from un-tethered access to your smart card credentials from your desktop or laptop computer.

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to solve a fundamental security concern for organizations, helping eliminate unauthorized access to unlocked computers and BlackBerry smartphones. Instead of inserting the smart card into a stationary reader or bulky peripheral attachment which can easily be left behind, users insert a smart card into this lightweight reader and wear it on a lanyard, causing smartphones and computers to lock when the user is not in proximity.

Prevent Unauthorized Access

S/MIME Support

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader works with certificates on smart cards to leverage your organization’s S/MIME infrastructure‡ and is designed to enable your employees to digitally sign and encrypt messages on either their BlackBerry smartphones or computers to provide sender-to-recipient security.

Advanced Security Features

When used with the BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution, the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader supports advanced security features to help meet IT and public sector requirements, including:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • FIPS 140-2 validated encryption module
  • S/MIME support
  • Wireless IT policy enforcement on smartphones

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader is designed to minimize the impact of operational requirements on users, making it easier for them to comply with your security policies.

The BlackBerry Smart Card Reader can help your organization:

  • Increase Security Compliance – Increasing the convenience and comfort of using smart cards with BlackBerry smartphones and computers helps to ensure that users comply with organizational security directives. Using IT policy controls, BlackBerry smartphones and computers can be configured to lock if the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader goes out of range, rendering the smartphone or computer unusable and information inaccessible until proximity is restored and user authentication requirements have been met.
  • Meet Strict Government Security Requirements – FIPS 140-2 validated encryption technology. Built on the proven BlackBerry® Java® Virtual Machine (BlackBerry JVM), the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader uses an AES-256 encryption overlay for Bluetooth. It allows organizations using smart cards to add additional security features to the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution security architecture.
  • Provide an Enhanced User Experience Compared With Competing Solutions – The slim, lightweight BlackBerry Smart Card Reader features long battery life and Bluetooth technology that allows users to comfortably wear the reader on a lanyard. No more heavy peripherals or bulky smartphone attachments are required for authenticating to BlackBerry smartphones or computers with smart cards.
  • Manage Key Lifetimes Wirelessly – System administrators gain additional control over the wireless environment with the ability to wirelessly manage security key lifetimes on the BlackBerry Smart Card Reader through the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server.*



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