BlackBerry's 'Jarvis' finds security flaws in connected cars

The company claims it can also reduce scanning time from days to minutes.

As cars become more reliant on software, it's critical for automakers to make sure their code is as secure as possible. It's somewhat surprising, though, for a company like BlackBerry to come out with a potential solution. At a keynote during the North American International Automotive Show (NAIAS) today, the company's CEO John Chen announced a new cloud-based tool called Jarvis that can scan the complex software required for modern connected and autonomous cars.

Jarvis scans automotive binary code to identify security vulnerabilities in the software used in modern and upcoming cars, much of which is written by third-party suppliers. Blackberry claims it can scan and deliver insights in minutes, reducing the time in one case study from more than 30 days to seven minutes. "Connected and autonomous vehicles require some of the most complex software ever developed," said Chen, "creating a significant challenge for automakers who must ensure the code complies with industry and manufacturer-specific standards while simultaneously battle-hardening a very large and tempting attack surface for cybercriminals."

Once a car company signs up for Jarvis, it can be customized for their own needs across their entire software supply chain, letting car companies scan files for problems at all stages of development. While Blackberry is initially targeting automakers, the tech could help with many other industries, scanning the complex software behind healthcare, industrial automation, aerospace and military defense projects, for example.

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