Dutch Government Switches to Super-Secure “Dumb” Phone to Prevent Hacks

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Officials leaving their smartphones at home on foreign trips. Government officials in the Netherlands are leaving their own smartphones at home when traveling to other countries, switching instead to an old-school “dumb” phone that has no Internet connection and lacks support for apps.

The “dumb phone” moniker, however, deserves a series of quotes because the Sectra Tiger lineup of handsets has been specifically developed with security in mind.

All phones feature nothing more than basic communication features like phone calls and texts, while data transfers are only possible in registered and secure networks.

The official site of Sectra Tiger reveals there are three such secure phones that can be used by government officials, all of them developed from the very beginning to block cyber-attacks.

Phone features

The Tiger/R, which looks like a smartphone but isn’t one, is based on Samsung’s own Android smartphones, but instead comes with Restricted-level secure voice and text and hardware-based encryption.

“Sectra Tiger/R enables you to use your smartphone for RESTRICTED-level voice and text communication. It prevents eavesdropping and substantially reduces vulnerability to malicious applications and tampering. Sectra Tiger/R enhances mobility and flexibility to your organization at a time when the importance of being able to act swiftly and to communicate without risk of eavesdropping is highlighted time and time again by political instability and developments in society,” the parent company explains.

The Tiger/S 7401, on the other hand, looks even more like an old-school Nokia phone, and it’s “been developed to resist attacks from any source.”

This particular model is approved up to and including classification level SECRET in the Netherlands and in the EU and is pending NATO SECRET approval.

DutchNews writes that Prime Minister Mark Rutte is already using one such phone, while home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren and defence minister Ank Bijleveld switch to these devices for secure communications. In the future, all Dutch officials will be required to use a Sectra phone when traveling to certain countries like Russia and Iran.

Sectra Tiger/R