Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mobile device provisionning with o-push

I just commited mobile device provisionning to the o-push ActiveSync server. We tested it with an iPhone 3.0 and it allows pretty cool things.

What is mobile device provisionning :

When a device starts its dialog with the ActiveSync server, it sends an header "X-MS-PolicyKey : 0". The server can either ignore it or choose to enforce a security/enterprise policy. It (the server) does so by refusing the sync request and sending back a 449 http error code.

Of course you need a device that supports security policies, but the iPhone 3.0 does.

The device, when receiving the 449 error, starts a provisionning dialog :

  • it asks for the server policy

  • the server returns one with a temporary policy id

  • the device acknowledges the id by sending it back to server

  • the server respond with a "final policy id" for the device

  • the device will now use the "X-MS-PolicyKey: <final policy id>" in all its future communications

  • normal sync dialog will occur, except if the server administrator changes the policy (the servers sends another 449 error if the "final policy id" is no longer valid)

What can the administrator enforce in the policy :

Well, pretty much everything, but as the policy document is pretty explicit, lets reproduce it here :


As you see, you can completly "enterprise lock" the phone :

  • You can lock wifi, infrared or bluetooth usage

  • No photos (we tested this one, the iPhone supports it)

  • No text messaging

  • No phone unlock without password (we tested this one too on the iPhone), with a strict password policy

  • No mail/groupware account except the enterprise/ActiveSync one

  • Only allow sending SMIME signed emails

  • Force storage of email/groupware data in an encrypted storage

  • etc

Right now, the policy sent to the phones is harcoded in the o-push server, but will probably develop an interface to manage those policies ;-)

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