Bundeswehr soldiers should in the future be able to make extensive use of smartphones for business purposes. For this purpose, the South Korean technology group Samsung will develop a special version of the smartphone operating system Android together with the IT and consulting company blackned from southern Germany.
"The militarily used terminals receive a complex as well as intuitively operated data and voice control, in order to ensure operation even under adverse circumstances at the respective place of use", announced Samsung on Wednesday at the security fair it-sa in Nuremberg.
In May, SPIEGEL reported that there is great frustration in the Bundeswehr about the use of new service phones. In the months before, 16,000 Samsung smartphones Galaxy S8 had been distributed in the troupe. However, the devices were set up so that they could not connect to the Internet. So they could only use to make phone calls and texting.
"Significantly increased IT security requirements"
A spokeswoman for the Department of Defense had justified this in May with "recently significantly increased IT security requirements". Without effective protection, the new smartphones run the risk of unauthorized downloaded apps and other data transfers accessing internal communications.
In the development of the new "highly secure operating system based on Android" for the Bundeswehr now the security software Knox of Samsung will be used. For example, the system allows the software on smartphones to be updated over the network independently of Google. Knox also provides comprehensive protection against malicious software "and other malicious threats".
In addition to the Bundeswehr, Samsung also won the Federal Police as a customer. In the future, the Federal Police will be the first security authority in Germany to use large-area smartphones of the latest generation for encrypted communication, he said. Samsung's Galaxy S10 is used in the Enterprise Edition (EE), ie in a variant especially for business customers. On the Samsung website, there is talk of 1000 smartphones for "secure mobile office communication".
It also states that for use in railway stations and border areas, the Federal Police use devices of the Galaxy A8 type, also in the Enterprise Edition. The Galaxy A8 should be 3500 devices in circulation.