The U.S. military is currently in the process of deploying smartphones within its ranks.
However, the Defense Department isn’t skimping on security, as a serious lapse could place the lives of U.S. soldiers in danger.
As such, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has kicked off an initiative to develop new technology that supports full system and disk encryption for commercial smartphones.
Understandably, DARPA seems to be focusing its efforts on smartphone running Google’s Android and Apple’s IOS platforms – with encryption envisaged in the form of a custom pre-boot system that loads a secure version of the phone’s operating system.
In compliance with the federal security standard FIPS 140-2, DARPA has emphasized that any such system must – at the minimum – employ the AES-256 encryption algorithm.
To realize its encryption goal, DARPA has tapped universities and industry players to develop and submit a concept paper that details an innovative approach based on existing technology that can realistically be deployed within 90 days.
This is not the first announcement that points to the military’s interest in securing smartphones.
Just a few months ago, the US Air Force was weighing whether commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) smartphones
could be used to securely ransmit sensitive voice and data.