A cryptographic component in iOS 6 has received FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 Level 1 security certification from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, says TUAW
. In particular, the NIST says that when running in FIPS mode, iOS 6's CoreCrypto Kernel Module 3.0 "generates cryptographic keys whose strengths are modified by available entropy." The module is identified as "a software cryptographic module running on a multi-chip standalone mobile device and provides services intended to protect data in transit and at rest."
Level 1 certification reflects a relatively low level of security, since there are no special physical measures involved. CoreCrypto was reportedly tested
on an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and an iPad, but it's unconfirmed if the FIPS certification carries over to any device capable of running iOS 6.
The approval may be a significant step towards wider US government adoption of iOS devices. iOS 6 is already believed to be on the path to getting Department of Defense approval
, which could eventually see it and/or Android replacing BlackBerry phones for some purposes.