Whilst previous handsets have proved popular amongst government officials, BlackBerry's latest BB10 handsets have failed security tests

UPDATED: Blackberry 10 ruled ‘not secure enough’ for UK government officials

Despite focusing on security with the new operating system, BlackBerry 10 devices have been deemed not secure enough for use with sensitive government work.

Initially reported by The Guardian, it is understood that the UK’s Computer Experts Security Group tested the new devices but found them to be vulnerable to threats.

The decision is a huge blow to BlackBerry, which recently partnered with security firm Secusmart in order to boost the new range of devices’ protection.

Balance, a new feature for BB10, which resulted from the partnership between the two firms, allowed users to partition their data on the BlackBerry device, whilst letting them send encrypted communications such as voice calls, text messages, web browsing and emails.

BlackBerry had previously been the preferred devices for government workers, with the firm’s previous handiest passing the CESG’s security guidelines as a result of their tight security.

However, officials throughout the past year have increasingly turned to Apple’s iPhone and Android devices.

The news comes as BlackBerry launches its BB10 devices in the US. Whilst the Z10 handset launched here in the UK back in January, there is yet to be any word on the firm’s upcoming Q10 device.

Whilst there has been no official word from BlackBerry over a potential release date or pricing, online retailer eCrater has been spotted offering the device with a price tag of £357. Additionally, Carphone Warehouse also hinted that it would begin selling the device later this month.

UPDATE: GCHQ has issued a further statement to PCR, clarifying that initial reports surrounding BlackBerry 10 devices are incorrect and that the firm is yet to perform an evaluation of the devices security.

"Discussions with BlackBerry are ongoing about the use of the BlackBerry 10 platform in government. We have not yet performed an evaluation of the security of that platform, but we expect to be issuing Platform Guidance in the summer," said a GCHQ spokesperson, "This will cover a number of platforms including Blackberry 10 and the use of Balance."

"We have a long standing security partnership with BlackBerry and this gives us confidence that the BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government."

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