Research in Motion CTO David Yach said that the rolling service outages that its Blackberry mobile phone system has experienced in the last few days wasn’t due to a security compromise, but to an unsuccessful fail over following a core switch failure in Europe.
“I know there’s often speculation in these types of situations of a potential breach or hack as the cause” Yach offered on Thursday. But he assured those listening that the Blackberry service didn’t appear to have been hacked. “We’ve seen no evidence that this is the case,” he said.
Instead, the company is dealing with a backlog of untold numbers of unsent messages.
“A large backlog of messages has been generated. We’ve had to throttle traffic to stabilize service while we process the substantial backlog of messages in a controlled manner. That’s why we’re seeing ongoing issues and impacts to other regions of the world,” Yach said on the call, an excerpt of which was posted by the BBC.
Yach declined to say how many RIM customers had experienced interruptions. But he said RIM believes it has identified the root cause of the error, but that it will hold a fuller investigation until it has service fully restored.
Though it still holds a large share of the enterprise mobile device market, RIM’s comparatively closed, security focused service has proven far less susceptible to tampering and malware infestations than competitors such as devices running Google’s Android mobile operating system. But RIM isn’t a stranger to security worries. The company was forced to patch a severe flaw in its Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) in August that could have enabled remote attackers to compromise BES installations. Harder to fix have been RIM’s strategic mistakes, which include the launch of a lackluster iPad competitor, Playbook, and customer defections in favor of late model iPhone and Android devices with more features and a broader application ecosystem.