Everyone knows that BlackBerrys were the communications system of choice of the chav-erati during the 2011 London riots. Using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), they could securely coordinate their pillagings of the local Argos or Euronics electrical store without fear of the Old Bill listening in. Well, not until the Old Bill asked BlackBerry to help them out.
It led to the likes of professional idiot Louise Mensch – then an MP, unbelievably – calling for the likes of Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger to be shut down by the government during such periods of civil disorder – although the police actually doing their job, rather than being ordered to stand idly by, would’ve probably helped more.
The humble BlackBerry, however, proved to be a life-saver for Sony Pictures during the recent devastating attack on the company. Indeed, if it hadn’t locked its stash of unwanted corporate BlackBerrys in its vaults back in 2012 or so, its executives would’ve had nothing to use for back-up following the attack by – so reports indicate – hacking group Guardians of Peace.
In early December, after the scale of the attack and the access that the group was able to achieve had become clear, staff were ordered off the network and many resorted to typewriters, if they had any.
Management, meanwhile, had to re-acquaint themselves with their old BlackBerrys and retrain themselves to communicate via BBM. Unlike many messaging applications, BBM was always encrypted and secure, and BlackBerrys remain more secure than the alternatives, which is why they remain popular at the sharp end of major commercial banking groups and anywhere else that values intellectual property.
Well, they weren’t exactly going to ask the Sony mothership to bung them a load of the company’s own Android smartphones, were they? That might have been something of a frying pan/fire type of situation, given Android’s reputation for security.