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BlackBerry adds “Reset to Factory Default” option

One of the largest complaints over the last few years in the BlackBerry world has been the inability to remove the IT policy on a device that was formerly on a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. As I tell those who ask me, when a device is activated on a BES, it retrieves the policy and then locks it in a read-only state; when you wipe the device, it opens that policy to a read/write state where it can be overwritten by another policy.

Well, in an effort to send former employees out and on their way to a nice, soft pillowed landing without a restrictive policy on their device, even after a security wipe, RIM has now added the ability for the BES Administrators to send a kill command that will remotely wipe the device and set it back to “Factory Defaults”, or removing the IT Policy  (and third-party applications), in addition to the command’s standard wiping tasks.

Remote Wipe Reset to Factory Defaults
Specify whether the BlackBerry device resets itself to factory default settings when it receives the Erase Data and Disable Handheld IT Admin command over the wireless network. Set this IT policy rule to True to require the BlackBerry device to permanently delete its stored IT policy and delete all third party applications, in addition to performing the BlackBerry device wipe process.

If you do not set this rule, a default value of False will be used.

This rule applies only to Java-based BlackBerry devices version 4.2.2 and higher.

Obviously this can only benefit some, as those purchasing their devices from eBay likely don’t have access to a BES server, but it still shows that someone ‘up there’ is listening to even the most minor of our requests.

This feature is available as an IT Policy option in BES 4.1 SP4 (look under Security Policy Group) and, as mentioned above, is only applicable to those devices running OS 4.2.2 and above (BlackBerry Curve and 8830 only, for now).

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