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Hackers root Motorola Droid

These are not the Droids you are hacking for

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Updated Hackers have successfully rooted Motorola's Droid smartphone, allowing users to install applications or services of their choice outside the set menu offered by operators.

A hardware modder, rejoicing in the name Zinx Verituse, has developed and published a Droid rooting exploit. Instructions on how to break open Droid smartphones, along with links to the exploit were posed on an Android forum, Wired Gadget Lab via CRN reports.

Once rooted, smartphone users gain administrative privileges and thus the ability to download widgets, add applications, or otherwise customise their phone. The procedure carries a risk of rendering a device inoperable or disabling features. Attempts to tamper with the phone void Motorola's warranty and run against terms of service agreements.

An earlier version of this story compared the process of rooting droids to jailbreaking iPhones in order to bypass Apple's software lock-down and allow the installation of applications not licensed by Apple. Not so.

An option (explained here) on Droid phones already allows non-market applications to be installed.

Rooting the Droid allows users to take complete control of the smartphone. This allows users to add functionality such as tethering for free, install non-Android applications, copy applications, disable automatic updates, or add multi-touch support.

The Droid is distributed by Verizon Wireless in the US. A slightly modified version, known as the Motorola Milestone, was released in Germany and Italy last month. It's unclear whether the rooting hack works on the modified device. ®

Bootnote

Thanks to Karl Koscher and Jason Porter for each dropping us a note explaining what Droid rooting means and how it differs from jailbreaking iPhones.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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