BlackBerry developing anti-hack tool for car
BlackBerry developing anti-hack tool for carReuters/Mark Blinch

BlackBerry is developing a security service that would scan vehicles for computer viruses and alert drivers to pull over in case of any danger.

Gus Papageorgiou, analyst at Macquarie Capital Partners, said in a release note issued to clients that the service was currently being tested by automakers such as Aston Martin and Range Rover.

The service, which would be able to install security patches to a car, is expected to be launched sometime next year, according to the note seen by Reuters. Papageorgiou believes BlackBerry would be able to generate about $10 (£7.7) a month per vehicle from the service.

BlackBerry is betting on auto security in order to boost its revenue after losing its dominance in the smartphone market to tech majors such as Apple and Samsung.

"Although a connected, more software-centric automobile offers tremendous advantages to consumers, it also opens the doors to hackers," Papageorgiou noted.

Vehicles usually rely on computers that connect to the internet, mobile networks and Bluetooth, making them vulnerable to hacking.

Automakers have shown increasing interest in cybersecurity since 2015, when researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek demonstrated vulnerability in Fiat Chrysler.

The car maker immediately announced a recall of about 1.4 million vehicles in the US equipped with certain radios, in order to update the software. There was no injury related to the software exploitation, nor any complaints, warranty claims or accidents.