BlackBerry unveils cybersecurity software for vehicles

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — Canadian tech company BlackBerry Ltd. Monday introduced a new cybersecurity software product at the Detroit auto show.

Called BlackBerry Jarvis, the software is designed to help automakers protect their cars from computer hackers, said John Chen, the company's executive chairman and CEO.

John Chen, executive chairman and CEO of  Blackberry, speaks Monday  at the North American International Auto Show.

Chen made the announcement at a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

"We think this is a very appropriate venue to announce our first product on the (automotive) cybersecurity side," he said. "Our company has been using it for a long time and it's a well-proven technology."

He said the software is a one-of-its-kind, cloud-based static binary code scanning program that can identify vulnerabilities in the software used in automobiles.

A modern car has more than 100 million lines of computer code and as more is added to improve cars and make them autonomous, they will be more vulnerable to cyberattack, he said.

Chen said Jaguar Land Rover has already been testing out its Jarvis technology.

"In our independent study, Jarvis delivered excellent efficiencies in time-to-market, significantly reducing the time to security assess code from thirty days to seven minutes," Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, said in a statement. "The productivity delivered by Jarvis combined with BlackBerry's trusted security heritage can transform vehicle safety."

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company was founded in 1984 and operates in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.