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Orange SPV MS smartphone cert security cracked

Weirdly unhard procedure, too...

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Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The Orange SPV has achieved the dubious distinction of being the first Microsoft smartphone to have its security cracked. Orange as set the phones up so they will only run Orange-certified applications, but as yet hasn't got much further than promises when it comes to telling people how you develop for it, get apps certified, get development systems and so on.

Which means a lot of deeply unhappy would-be SPV developers - until now. It's not absolutely clear to us who first came up with a crack, but MoDaCo has checked it out, it works and there's a certain amount of happly cackling from that direction.

There seem to be at least two basic procedures to follow. The first, which apparently works on French phones but not on UK ones, is so desperately trivial that there will surely be some name-calling between Orange and Microsoft. Orange wishes its business customers to be protected from rogue code running on their networks, and indeed wishes to protect its own network and users from similar. But, erm, if it's as easy as this:

Back up your phone, then do hard reset. Wait for the pin code entry, but don't enter it, ignore for ten to 15 minutes. Then reboot.

One suspects the system was not entirely designed by rocket scientists, and that anybody who really wants to protect their network from PC-style peril will be demanding a security upgrade, pronto. The defect of the above procedure is that you lose the Orange parameters. Note that The Register isn't in a position to test this, so we're not endorsing it, and can't guarantee there will be no unpleasant side-effects. We'd advise you to check the discussion groups before you do anything, anyway.

Procedure two is more convoluted, but may appeal to Windows hackers pining for a registry to mess around with. The procedure is explained here. Given that the French method seems to take advantage of a bug, the second method, or variants thereof, will likely prove more durable. ®

Related stories:
MS talks smartphone -developer support follows 'soon'
Orange plans SPV bugfixes, and developer info for Q1
Orange, not MS, is SPV smartphone app-breaker in chief

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