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BlackBerry announces new messaging security

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Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced Monday the release of new "enhanced security" for its popular BBM messaging, aiming to win back corporate users with high security needs such as banks. 

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced the release of new "enhanced security" for its popular BBM messaging, aiming to win back corporate users with high security needs such as banks

The BBM Protected application for messaging between the company's lines of smartphones uses the FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic library -- the US government computer security standard.

In a statement, BlackBerry called it "the most secure and reliable real-time mobile messaging" available.

The company said it scrambles messages on a sender's device and then authenticates and decrypts them on the receiver's smartphone.

BlackBerry helped create a culture of mobile users glued to smartphones, but lost its luster as many moved to iPhones or devices using Google's Android software.

After posting record losses last year, the company brought in new management and outsourced its handset production to Taiwan-based Foxconn.

Although its high security has come to define BlackBerry's advantage over its competitors, the company has cooperated with police investigations in several countries by providing access to its customers' messages.

Last week, Canadian federal police announced the arrest of 33 alleged mobsters in Montreal after combing through one million BlackBerry messages sent between them since 2010.

Intercepted BBM messages also helped Los Angeles authorities crack a drug trafficking ring last year.

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