announced that its Passport One authentication interface now supports Research in Motion’s S/MIME (secure, multipurpose Internet mail extensions) version 1.5 support package for Blackberry wireless handheld devices.

This ability allows Blackberry users to exchange secure e-mail messages, which is becoming more important to government and enterprise workers, particularly those working in the financial industry, said Nagy Moustafa, Diversinet’s president and CEO.

“A lot of Wall Street people send e-mails with confidential financial information, or the details of pending deals,” Moustafa said. “Also, the federal government is going to make it mandatory that its people use S/MIME, probably in the next 12-18 months.”

Users register on Diversinet’s Web site and receive a certification and a key code, which allows the recipient of an e-mail to authenticate the sender, which should dramatically reduce spam and the spread of viruses and worms, Moustafa said. The key code assigned to the Blackberry owner also is necessary to open messages and files stored on that unit.

“If you lost your Blackberry, or it was stolen, whoever ended up with it wouldn’t be able to use it without that unique security code,” he said, adding that the code cannot be replicated.