Feeds

Hackers jailbreak T-Mobile's Googlephone

Gaping loophole = easy root access

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Hackers have managed to jailbreak T-Mobile's new G1 phone by exploiting a gaping loophole in Android, the open source operating system supplied by Google.

The hack, which was posted to this XDA-Developers forum, is a straight-forward process that allows Linux geeks to gain root access in about one minute. It involves using the widely available PTerminal application to telnet to the device's IP address. Presto, you now have root. Step-by-step instructions are available here.

To be sure, the hack isn't as impressive as the jailbreaking of Apple's highly proprietary iPhone. That effort required a stable of hackers who spent weeks studying ways to chisel through the locks Apple engineers had placed on the device.

But the jailbreaking of the first Android phone is nonetheless significant because it could allow the phone to run in ways that T-Mobile never intended. Because the hack gives complete system access with full read and write functionality, the running of Symbian, Linux, or other alternative OSes is within reach. Other modifications are also possible. One forum participant claims to have the ability to "port apps to native C code for Android."

Other members are discussing the possibility of using the hack to make the G1 and forthcoming Android phones act as a Wi-Fi router or to enable Bluetooth profiles.

A word of warning: the hack has the potential to turn the G1 into a brick. As reported here, changes to the /system directory can not be undone by a hard reset.

A Google spokesman said the company plans to distribute a patch that will close the loophole. The company also plans to update the open source code base to reflect the changes. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.