Windows Mobile platforms gain EAL 2 certification

Microsoft has announced that its Windows Mobile 5.0 with Messaging and Security Feature Pack and Windows Mobile 6 operating systems have earned Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 2 Augmented certification.

Common Criteria is an internationally standardized framework for matching end-user security requirements with vendor product specifications. For U.S. federal agencies, the National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Policy No. 11 mandates that agencies use Common Criteria-evaluated equipment and software for networks carrying sensitive information.

With EAL 2 Augmented certification, Windows Mobile is recognized worldwide by 24 member countries under the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement, which will let U.S. government agencies around the world use Windows Mobile as a technology platform that has met exacting security standards, according to Microsoft.

The approvals mean that federal employees can use the Microsoft platform to securely access critical data from Microsoft applications such as common operational picture software for combat and reconnaissance missions; battlefield medical triage data; logistics information; and supply chain support, company officials said.

The EAL certification comes with extensive configuration documentation to help users securely deploy Windows Mobile applications.

In a related announcement, Microsoft said the Defense Information Systems Agency has approved the use of Windows Mobile for secure wireless e-mail throughout the Defense Department.

The decision followed the company's request that DISA evaluate the software based on a Security Technical Implementation Guide checklist DISA developed to offer guidance on configuring the software for secure use on DOD networks.

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