BlackBerry hid a serious vulnerability in 200 million cars and medical equipment

BlackBerry, which in its day was one of the large telephone companies, has confessed that it knew of a serious “bug” in its QNX operating system.

Although the name BlackBerry is more associated with mobile phones with a keyboard, in fact its most popular product is its operating system, after being unable to adapt to the new times of smartphones. Thanks to its versatility and efficiency, QNX is used in all types of electronic devices, including factory robots, hospital equipment and vehicles .

Today, the company announced that older versions of QNX are vulnerable to a type of attack that can leave these devices at the mercy of hackers; the failure would affect hundreds of millions of devices, including cars with the system pre-installed. With a security hole like this, an attacker could access the device remotely and take control. More worrisome is that this is not a new problem, and that the company knew, at least since May, that the system was vulnerable.

It was then that other companies, affected by the same problem, made public and was named BadAlloc after its discoverer, Microsoft. However, BlackBerry tried to convince researchers from the US cybersecurity agency, CISA, that its products were not affected, despite what Microsoft’s investigation had discovered. The company even went as far as to resist making a public announcement as requested, as revealed by Politico .

Once BlackBerry accepted that some versions of QNX had been affected by BadAlloc, the refusal to announce it publicly could have helped hackers. BlackBerry does not have direct contact with all customers who use QNX, since the system is licensed to the manufacturers of the devices and equipment, and does not know who has bought them ; Despite this, BlackBerry insisted on contacting privately only with manufacturers, and leaving the task of contacting all buyers to them.

Finally, the CISA was able to convince BlackBerry to make a public announcement, so that all those affected could find out and take the necessary measures to protect themselves. Specifically, organizations using products with QNX are recommended to update as soon as possible to the latest version of the system, to prevent potential attackers from exploiting the flaw; although BlackBerry claims that it is not aware of any attempts yet.


1-Tech – Wikipedia
2-Business Tech- CNN
3-tech FUTURE- BBC

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