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    Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

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    Research in Motion’s BlackBerry has been a heavy favorite throughout corporate America and more recently Europe. There are two very basic services that RIM delivers to communication-intense organizations using their BlackBerry handheld. They are, seamless email delivery and flexible security solutions that leave competitors such as Palm and Microsoft to imitate rather than innovate.

    Many of our readers already own BlackBerry and a large percentage of you are on BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server). We’ve done a quick survey and are quite surprised that many BES end-users have never heard of the Blackberry Enterprise terms such as IT Policy, 3DES, Kill Command, content protection, to name a few. Over the next few weeks we will be featuring brief yet informative articles on these topics and anything BES security related one feature at a time.

    Ok let’s start, think “Mission Impossible”, “This message will self-destruct in five seconds.” On Enterprise server the “Kill” command keeps confidential email, private contacts and sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands and thus breaching a company’s security. If your Blackberry device is lost or stolen you can contact your BES administrator who can send a remote “kill” command to the handheld, which will erase all the data as long as the handheld is in a wireless network coverage area. This can be done if the handheld is on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange version 3.6 and later.

    The Erase Data and Disable Handheld command is sent wirelessly to a BlackBerry device, erasing all of the device data and disabling it so that it can no longer be used on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. When you send this command, you should also verify whether the command has been sent and received successfully.

    The device must be turned on and in an area with sufficient coverage to receive the command. If the device is turned off or out of coverage, the command is queued on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server until the device is turned on or returns to an area with sufficient coverage.
    To be able to view the verify the success of the command, the BlackBerry Policy Service (POLC) logging level must be set to 4.
    *See the Additional Information section at page bottom for instructions on configuring logging levels.

    Using the Erase Data and Disable Handheld command
    To send the Erase Data and Disable Handheld command, complete the following steps:
    1. Open BlackBerry Manager.
    2. Click the User List tab.
    3. In the IT Admin section, click Erase Data and Disable Handheld in the list of IT commands.
    4. A dialog box appears, stating that all data will be erased if you proceed. Click Yes.
    Determining the success of the command
    To verify that the Erase Data and Disable Handheld command has been sent and received, review the POLC log file. By default, the POLC log file is located in C:\Program Files\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\Logs\<date>.
    Lines similar to the following are displayed in the POLC log file:
    [40000] (10/03 13:00:52):{0x974}{<user_name>@<domain>,PIN=XXXXXXXX, UserID=1}SCS::PollDBQueueNewRequests - Queuing KILL_DEVICE_REQUEST request

    The above line indicates when the command was first sent, and that the command is being queued for the user.
    [40000] (10/03 13:01:15):{0x960} {<user_name>@<domain>, PIN=XXXXXXXX, UserId=1}RequestHandler::HandleITADMINDataCommand - ITPolicy Success Ack for the command KILL_HANDHELD_COMMAND - Processing packet, Tag=23980295

    The above line indicates when the BlackBerry device received the command, and that it sent a confirmation of the receipt.
    Note: To search using a string in the log file, search for ITPolicy Success Ack for the command KILL_HANDHELD_COMMAND. Once it is located, you can verify the user associated with the command. Search for this string when the device does not meet the requirements to receive the command when it is first sent.

    Additional Information

    To configure logging levels, complete the following steps:
    1. In the BlackBerry Server Configuration tool, click the Logging tab.
    2. Select BlackBerry Policy Service and set the Debug Log Level to 4.
    3. Click Apply, then click OK.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Great news, wish this information was readily available to me before pinstack.com!

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    AFter a Blackberry has been wiped and disabled from the BES. If it is enabled again will all the information remain clear of the blackberry? Also a wipe like above clears any PIN messages as well correct?

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Hi feather, welcome to pinstack. The above information will put the BB back to the original state, erasing all information.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Hi All, I have a quick question does a device wipe remove the phone functionality also, or just the mail capability?

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    devraj.p, Welcome to PinStack.

    I don't think so, just removes all personal data, including the Address book contents.

    Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help with this problem or your BB.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Hello Devraj and Welcome to the Stacks!

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Thanks All, i have one dought i have one user for his BB i have excuted a Kill command from server ver 3.6 if i go user property in IT Admin i can see Kill command excuted successfully. But the user is still receiving mail to Blackberry handheld.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    It's difficult to believe that there are users who aren't aware of this feature but you are absolutely correct Hayden; this needed to be announced. There's another service that will give you a kill command but the cost will be near three grand. Goodlink.
    Cordially,

    Jobsdone

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    I just had one of my end users lose a Blackberry in Hong Kong while boarding a train. I wasn't in the office. So I told my cell phone provider to SUSPEND the voice and data service. Can I use this command while the service is suspended or do I need to tell my cell phone provider to reinstate the service, then use the wipe phone & disbable command? My question to you is do you think suspending the voice and data service will interfere with the BES wipe phone & disable command.
    Any information that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Tim

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    I have one major issue with the kill command which I hope RIM fixes soon. If one of my clients has a device lost/stolen and I send the kill command, the radio must be on. If I need to readd the user to the server with their new replacement device, I cannot be sure the kill command was accepted and once I remove that lost device from the server the kill command stops sending. I wonder how the government handles lost/stolen kill commands.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    After sedning the KILL command, and from the logs it shows its queued, is there a way of actually reversing or preventing the KILL command to reach the device??
    Either from the BES or from RIM ?

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Just a guess, remove and readd the device? ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~

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    Quote Originally Posted by mwagz
    After sedning the KILL command, and from the logs it shows its queued, is there a way of actually reversing or preventing the KILL command to reach the device??
    Either from the BES or from RIM ?
    I doubt there's a way to pull it back.

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    Re: Blackberry Enterprise security - If lost or stolen (Kill Command)

    Sorry once you send the kill the cmd it is enroute and im 99.9% you cannot stop it. If you do find a method to stop the cmd post it
    Data Outages
    Reinstall OS
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    Yes, I'm a BES admin with an iPhone 3G.

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