Press Release

MWR Research Will Help Security Community Identify Issues That May Exist in QNX Based Systems

Paper addresses previous lack of OS in-depth public security review

MWR InfoSecurity has today detailed its research showing that, while a significant security effort has been put into hardening the BlackBerry platform, a number of QNX core components have not been subjected to as much scrutiny by the security research community. This research provides security professionals with a greater understanding of the platform and highlights where issues may exist in QNX based systems. 

Speaking about the implications of the research, Alex Plaskett, Head of Technical Research of MWR explained, “QNX Neutrino is one of the most widely adopted real-time operating systems (RTOS) powering safety- and mission-critical devices from across a large number of heavy industries. Neutrino lies at the heart of power and nuclear plants, air traffic control systems, turbine controllers and warehouse control systems. QNX is also known to run on at least 50% of today's cars infotainment systems which is the reason QNX was once described by TIME magazine as the 'tech company that is to connected cars what Microsoft is to PCs’. Many of these platforms are safety or security critical, therefore weaknesses in QNX can have a significant impact to these systems.

“For an OS that is touted as being safety critical it did not stand up well to an attacker intentionally providing malicious input. Whilst the operating system itself is designed to be highly robust and fault tolerant, mistakes which are often found on other *NIX based platforms can be introduced into QNX too and together with QNX specific issues. QNX is certainly not vulnerability free and due to lack of information within the community about QNX security maintains a low profile.”

The number of critical processes powered by QNX, and the limited amount of public research, drove MWR to take a closer look at how QNX is different from any other major operating systems. It has worked with Blackberry to resolve the vulnerabilities and a paper, detailing MWRs research, is available here:

In addition, MWR has reported other vulnerabilities to Blackberry, which are currently being remediated, which will be detailed, once patches are available, here:



Accreditations & Certificates

MWR is an accredited member of The Cyber Security Incident Response Scheme (CSIR) approved by CREST (Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers).
MWR is certified under the Cyber Incident Response (CIR) scheme to deal with sophisticated targeted attacks against networks of national significance.
We are certified to comply with ISO 9001 and 14001 in the UK, internationally accepted standards that outline how to put an effective quality and environmental management systems in place.
MWR is certified to comply with ISO 27001 to help ensure our client information is managed securely.
As an Approved Scanning Vendor MWR is approved by PCI SSC to conduct external vulnerability scanning services to PCI DSS Requirement 11.2.2.
We are members of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), an organisation serving the needs of the information security sector.
MWR is a supplier to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which provides commercial and procurement services to the UK public sector.
MWR is a Qualified Security Assessor, meaning we have been qualified by PCI to validate other organisation's adherence to PCI DSS.
As members of CHECK we are measured against high standards set by NCSC for the services we provide to Her Majesty's Government.
MWR’s consultants hold Certified Simulated Attack Manager (CCSAM) and Certified Simulated Attack Specialist (CCSAS) qualifications and are authorized by CREST to perform STAR penetration testing services.