BlackBerry said that its smartphones are “secure as they always have been”, after reports earlier this week that the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) had managed to read encrypted emails on BlackBerry devices.

In a blog post, the company noted the lack of details on the process, and said that if a breach took place, it could be related to issues such as “user consent, an insecure third party application, or deficient security behaviour of the users” – essentially issues beyond the design of the device.

“There are no backdoors in any BlackBerry devices, and BlackBerry does not store and therefore cannot share BlackBerry device passwords with law enforcement or anyone else,” it continued.

Initial reports said that the NFI’s work involved a “BlackBerry PGP” device – which implies the presence of PGP security software that is not part of the core BlackBerry proposition.

Apparently, NFI used technology from Israeli security firm Cellebrite to recover and read a large number of encrypted emails on the device used. It has also been reported that it needed physical access to the smartphone in order to do this.

It was reported that the Canadian authorities have made similar claims.

BlackBerry has made secure communications an integral part of its enterprise communications proposition, meaning any questioning of its capabilities is notable.