How BlackBerry smartphone data is protected when the smartphone is paired with a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Article ID: KB26980

Type: Support Content

Last Modified: 12-14-2011


Product(s) Affected:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook tablets
  • BlackBerry® smartphone
  • BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet
  • BlackBerry® Enterprise Server 4.0 or later

Bluetooth® profiles specify how applications on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet, BlackBerry® smartphones and other Bluetooth enabled devices connect and interoperate. The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and a BlackBerry smartphone use the Serial Port Profile (SPP), which emulates a serial port between two Bluetooth-enabled devices, to communicate over Bluetooth®. The SPP is a client-server transport protocol, where the server controls whether and how to respond to client requests. The BlackBerry® Bridge™ application on the smartphone acts as a server for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to connect to.

How you can limit access to the SPP on the smartphone

A BlackBerry® Enterprise Server administrator can control which applications on the smartphone can use the Serial Port Profile, effectively limiting its use to trusted applications, such as BlackBerry Bridge. The Is Access to the Serial Port Profile for Bluetooth API Allowed application control policy rule controls whether an application on the smartphone can use the SPP.

On the BlackBerry smartphone, every Bluetooth profile has an associated IT policy rule or application control policy rule that allows the administrator to control the use of the profile.

How the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet protects data in transit

The tablet and the smartphone use an encryption key (the BlackBerry Bridge pairing key) and AES to encrypt data that is sent between the tablet and the smartphone.

How the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet protects stored data

When a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet connects to a BlackBerry smartphone that was activated on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, the tablet and smartphone share an encryption key (the BlackBerry Bridge work key) that the tablet uses to encrypt the keys that encrypt and decrypt the work data that it stores.

CollapseAdditional Information

Related Documentation

For more information on Bluetooth technology and BlackBerry devices see the BlackBerry Devices with Bluetooth Technology Security Technical Overview.

For more information on IT policy rules and application control policy rules see the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Policy Reference Guide.

For more information on BlackBerry PlayBook tablet security see the BlackBerry PlayBook Security Technical Overview


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