CIA lists BlackBerry QNX software as target for potential hack [Update]

qnx blackeberry connected car

In documents leaked by WikiLeaks, the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recently listed BlackBerry’s QNX software as a potential hacking target.

Documents released by WikiLeaks reveal that CIA meeting notes refer to BlackBerry QNX as one of the “potential mission areas” for the agency’s Embedded Device Branch, according to Bloomberg.

It’s important to note that these documents were dated Oct. 23, 2014, and it’s not clear whether the CIA ever went ahead with QNX as a hacking target.

In addition to QNX, the same branch of the CIA also reportedly worked with U.K. spy agencies to develop tools to break into Apple iPhones, Android smartphones and Samsung’s Smart TVs.

BlackBerry’s automotive tech division has become a core part of its strategic growth plan, including its intention to eventually move away from its hardware component altogether.

MobileSyrup has previously reported on BlackBerry QNX’s push into the driverless vehicle space, securities, and IoT initiatives.

Update – March 8: BlackBerry sent us the following statement on this issue:

“Providing the highest level of security has always been at the core of our mission, and it’s because of this, the trust placed in BlackBerry’s software and security expertise by the embedded world is unequaled. From secure embedded software to secure over-the-air (OTA) software update services for timely security patches and functional software updates, no other company can offer the end-to-end, software lifecycle management we provide.

QNX SDP 7.0 operating system provides a comprehensive, multi-level, policy-driven security model incorporating BlackBerry’s legacy best-in-class security technologies, to mitigate attacks. The secure OS along with Certicom’s secure manufacturing of integrated circuits plus our chain of trust software verification, trusted code execution, security toolkits and certificates provide a broad array of integrated tools for a designer to build a more secure system. In addition, BlackBerry’s security research groups, cybersecurity services, and incident response teams augment the products to monitor, assess and correct software and security vulnerabilities on a continual basis.

That being said, any electronic module in a car comprises a collection of software, hardware, and network components. Security is only as strong as its weakest link. As such, BlackBerry advocates that one designs in security from the ground up using the trusted and proven methodology we have deployed for years for the highest grade security in phones used by the governments and regulated industries. We are the gold standard in the industry for a well-proven reason.”

Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce

Source: WikiLeaks Via: Bloomberg