Feeds

Homebrew Pre apps find easy install

We've got ourselves a security hole, Rubber Duck

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Developers unwilling to wait for the Mojo SDK for Palm's Pre, or to be bound by its restrictions, have discovered that unsigned applications can be installed using a specially-formatted e-mail rather than any mucking about with unlocking the handset.

The process, as explained at Pre Central, simply requires an e-mail containing a link to an ".ilk" file containing the application.

Installing the file any other way falls foul of the Pre's requirement for native applications to be signed, but downloading from a link in an e-mail message bypasses that security check and allows the installation of anything the user desires.

Palm is being pretty good about homebrew applications at the moment. Though officially only supporting the WebOS-extended AJAX platform - the company has politely asked homebrew sites to remove content about tethering, for fear of offending Sprint - Palm obviously sees a small-scale homebrew market as no threat to its business model.

Native applications are allowed, but only by working with Palm, and only when digitally signed by the company. Until recently, the only way to bypass that security check was to unlock the device, but it now seems receiving the link via e-mail works equally well.

The more observant reader will have noticed that this is a security issue you could easily drive a convoy through. Malware could be distributed this way, even though a server would be needed from which the malware could be downloaded, so Palm would be remiss if it didn't patch this pretty quickly.

But, for the moment, Pre owners can happily install the demonstration application and enjoy the unauthorised apps without unlocking their handset. Until the next patch from Palm, at least. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.