BlackBerry to resell app from startup that found major Android bug

September 21, 2016 9:03 AM EDT

A Blackberry sign is seen in front of their offices on the day of their annual general meeting for shareholders in Waterloo, Canada in this June 23, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

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By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd has agreed to offer anti-hacking software from a startup that last year discovered a major Android bug, it said on Wednesday, as the once-dominant smartphone company seeks to leverage ties to corporate and government clients to boost its software revenue.

BlackBerry's enterprise sales force will resell Zimperium's zIPS mobile threat protection application to customers of its mobile device management services, the two companies said in a statement.

Zimperium said the product costs $10 a month per device, with bulk discounts available, and that BlackBerry will take an undisclosed cut of sales.

Zimperium, founded in 2010 by a former security researcher for the Israeli military, uses complex algorithms to churn through reams of data to defend against hacking of devices running on Apple Inc's iOS and Alphabet Inc's Android operating systems.

The service will not be available to users of BlackBerry's own operating system. BlackBerry's two newest handsets run on Android, and more such devices are expected from the company.

Alphabet's Google and Samsung started issuing monthly security fixes for Android phones soon after a Zimperium employee last year discovered the Stagefright hacking software, which allows attackers to access sensitive content.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Richard Chang)

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