BlackBerry’s chief security officer on how to secure emerging auto tech


On the CES 2018 BlackBerry sales space, BlackBerry Cheif Safety Officer Alex Manea shared some assault strategies he’s considered that could be holding auto executives gripping their wheels lovely tightly.

“The most important hacks that I’ve considered are mainly evidence of thought assaults that in reality have a look at how one can get get admission to to the automobile’s safety-critical parts remotely,” he says. “It’s something to get get admission to to the automobile’s drivetrain when you’ve got bodily get admission to. What in reality scares me is assaults the place someone can simply get started scanning IP addresses and to find prone automobiles at the highway, attacking a lot of other automobiles at the highway with out in fact being there.”

In an interview on the BlackBerry Ltd. sales space at CES 2018, Leader Safety Officer Alex Manea is advised clear of addressing BlackBerry Jarvis immediately by way of a member of the general public affairs workforce.

It wouldn’t be well mannered to CEO John Chen, status only some ft away, who was once expecting a keynote deal with on the North American World Auto Display that he delivered on Monday. There, he introduced Jarvis, a cloud-based carrier that guarantees to automate the scanning of code for safety vulnerabilities and compliance problems. What higher buyer for the sort of carrier than the automobile trade, which has a shockingly advanced provide chain and is seeing era built-in into more than one parts.

BlackBerry QNX RangeRover
Every other BlackBerry QNX thought automobile on show on the sales space was once this 2018 RangeRover.

So it’s no marvel that the BlackBerry sales space is full of automobiles – together with an Aston Martin DB11. They all featured the embedded era of BlackBerry’s QNX department, which it got from Harman World in 2010 for $200 million. In 2011 and 2012, BlackBerry would have introduced QNX to the CES display ground by means of its short-lived pill, the Playbook, after which its modernized BB10 running gadget. We know the way that tale ended, however this time the device is being proven within the shape that it was once supposed – as an embedded gadget.

Securing a complete new cell platform

CES 2018 additionally served because the level for BlackBerry to announce the newest in a string of partnerships in automobile device safety. Nvidia, identified for its line of high-performance GPUs, introduced that it’s operating on a self-driving construction platform that might be powered by way of QNX. As Manea sees it, BlackBerry is bringing in combination its lengthy historical past of device safety experience with QNX’s automobile security wisdom and unifying it right into a unmarried answer.

“QNX is among the maximum safe embedded running methods available in the market. It runs on automobiles, it runs in nuclear energy crops, it runs at the World House Station,” he says. “For those who consider BlackBerry’s heritage, it’s all the time been taken with safety, and similar with QNX.”

In its keynote introducing the Nvidia Power platform at CES, the GPU maker taken with security and safety. It guarantees that its platform supplies builders a strategy to construct self-driving methods that may be capable of function safely with a number of onboard failsafe methods. Nvidia is offering deep finding out algorithms and the vital to automakers taking a look to construct self reliant functions, and it’s bundled QNX to ship the embedded onboard methods to spherical out the platform’s functions.

BlackBerry QNX RangeRover console
A glance within the RangeRover, with the QNX console.

“They’re construction this platform that others can construct on best of to increase self reliant automobiles and we’re serving to them with the core platform aspect of the protection,” Manea says. “If you wish to achieve success on this marketplace you must spouse with the highest trade avid gamers. We have a look at ourselves as platform agnostic, proper? We’re glad to spouse with anyone that desires to spouse with us if there’s a viable use-case for the shopper or for the endeavor.”

At the similar day because the announcement with Nvidia, Chen foreshadowed his keynote in Detroit with a weblog put up titled The Street Forward. In it, he declared “we’re now not in turnaround mode,” pointing to double-digit enlargement within the endeavor cyber safety software and services portion of the trade. He briefly pivots to QNX, pronouncing the function is to “function the safety-certified foundational running gadget for hooked up and self reliant automobiles.”

Chen is going directly to listing the array of partnerships BlackBerry has introduced within the automobile sector within the remaining a number of months, which we’ve coated right here on IT International Canada, together with partnerships with Denso and Intel to carry an built-in Human System Interface platform to marketplace, and with Baidu, which can use QNX because the OS powering its open Apollo platform for self reliant automobiles.

With the Jarvis announcement, BlackBerry was once ready to indicate to operating immediately with a significant automaker in Jaguar Land Rover. CEO Ralf Speth went at the file pronouncing Jaguar’s time to evaluate code was once diminished from 30 days to simply seven mins. Manea explains why this metric is so a very powerful to making sure safety within the auto sector – the assault floor to be had to hackers is very large.

“A standard luxurious automobile in this day and age could have 100 million strains of code. Even though you’ve gotten one vulnerability each 10,000 strains of code, that’s an enormous choice of vulnerabilities,” he says. “There’s additionally a lot of several types of connectivity with automobiles. You’ve were given the entirety from 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth… in order a hacker if I need to get right into a automobile I’ve many alternative attainable access issues.”

Manea’s ‘protection extensive’ for automobiles

Taking us beneath the hood of the protection manner that’s enabled the ones partnerships, Manea stocks his “protection extensive” manner that addresses gadget safety at more than one layers:

  • Layer 1 – Engine Keep an eye on Unit) “The very lowest layer will be the itself, there will be the ECUs [engine control units] and the chips,” he says. “We embed our authentication keys inside the ECUs proper all through the producing procedure in order that then we will be able to authenticate the device on best of that.”
  • Layer 2 – QNX Neutrino OS) “It was once what’s known as a microkernel era, which mainly signifies that the core running code may be very small, and may be very effectively remoted from the appliance layer.”
  • Layer three – Packages) “We up to conceivable give protection to the other apps from one some other, and particularly give protection to the elemental serious methods of the automobile, so roughly the riding methods from the non-safety serious methods such because the acoustics.”
  • Layer four – Patches) “It’s no longer a question of if you’ll be breached, it’s a question of when you’ll be breached. We’ve got our personal device replace carrier that we offer no longer most effective to our automobile companions, but in addition to all IoT instrument producers to in reality lend a hand them push the ones out securely.”

At the remaining layer, Manea issues to BlackBerry’s ongoing partnership with TCL, the corporate now production BlackBerry handsets. It’s discovered how one can push out Android device updates to all of its units as briefly as Google makes them to be had.

So that you gained’t be seeing any smartphones on the BlackBerry sales space at CES 2019 both. However the safety courses discovered are nonetheless well-seen within the rearview reflect.


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Updated: January 21, 2018 — 6:58 am
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