Menu
BlackBerry denies its OS was to blame in Jeep Cherokee hack

BlackBerry denies its OS was to blame in Jeep Cherokee hack

The company claims the cause of the vulnerability lies in how the software stack was assembled by Chrysler

Chrysler's Uconnect remote-control app. Even if you don't want any other tech on your car, being able to control some basic car functions from your phone is the a big step up from today's key fob.

Chrysler's Uconnect remote-control app. Even if you don't want any other tech on your car, being able to control some basic car functions from your phone is the a big step up from today's key fob.

Responding to an accusatory blog post, BlackBerry has again denied that its embedded operating system caused the potentially dangerous vulnerability recently demonstrated in Chrysler Jeep Cherokees.

Last month, security researchers demonstrated how to circumnavigate the in-vehicle entertainment system of the Jeep Cherokee to take over the car itself, including control of the dashboard, steering mechanism, transmission, locks, and brakes.

Over 1.4 million vehicles have subsequently been recalled to fix the problem. The dealerships will install updated software, though owners can install the update themselves.

The Chryslers being recalled all run the QNX Neutrino OS, which was supplied by BlackBerry subsidiary QNX Software Systems. But the flaw being exploited was not within the OS itself, BlackBerry said Monday in its blog.

"The vulnerability came about through certain architecture and software components that are unrelated to the QNX Neutrino OS," the post reads.

The researchers themselves did not target QNX specifically, but rather the connectivity software that runs on top of QNX, called uConnect which, using cellular connections, offers Internet access, navigation, voice command capabilities and other features to drivers.

According to the researchers, Chrysler implemented uConnect in a way that can let external users, such as malicious hackers, access the vehicle's control bus, which taps into critical car systems.

BlackBerry first denied culpability when news of the hack first surfaced in July. But an item posted Friday on the financial blog site Seeking Alpha raised the issue again, speculating that QNX shared some of the blame.

"I think it's clear that everyone involved had a hand in this massive design failure. Clearly, the demarcation line between operating system and applications was nonexistent or at best ineffective," reads the post from an anonymous blogger who claims to have decades of experience as a software architect. Anonymous contributors must give Seeking Alpha their real name and contact information.

Last week, a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the owners of the recalled automobiles.

The lawsuit does not include BlackBerry, instead focusing on Chrysler and Harman, which supplied the vehicle's audio system.

Still, BlackBerry might be particularly sensitive to allegations tying it to the hack, given that the company has been shifting its mission in recent years from selling mobile handsets to providing security software for enterprise and embedded mobile systems

QNX is an Unix-based operating system designed for the embedded systems market by Quantum Software Systems (later called QNX Software System). BlackBerry purchased QNX in 2010. The QNX Neutrino OS has been installed in more than 60 million vehicles.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Blackberrysecuritymobile securitymalware

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments