Feeds

Windows Phone 7 gets unlocked

Side loading without Microsoft's say-so

Security for virtualized datacentres

The first jailbreaking app is out for Windows Phone 7, enabling the installation of unsigned applications, which can now be developed in Visual Basic too.

The VB addition is from Microsoft, and means developers can create Silverlight apps using Visual Basic, get them signed and run them on a phone. But developers can also now run all kinds of applications without Microsoft's approval, thanks to the ChevronWP7 unlocking tool.

Registered developers, who've coughed up their $99, can install unsigned applications anyway for testing and development, but the new jailbreaking tool opens that potential to all – with the attendant risks from malware and badly-written software that come when you open Pandora's box.

The balance between freedom and flexibility is a tough one: Apple's iPhone, the most famously-locked-down of the platforms, has no viruses or Trojans to worry about, while we're told that more than a million Chinese Symbian handsets are currently infected with a Trojan that's awaiting instructions.

Android tries to sidestep the problem by providing a tick box to switch off the security mechanisms that prevent rogue applications being installed, but what proportion of users have ticked it we don't know.

Making something completely secure is impossible, and trusting users with their own security has comprehensively failed to work on the desktop, so the best solution seems to be having a jailbreak available – but, crucially, one that is too complicated for the majority of users to bother with. Step two would be to scare people every now and then with talk of malware and developers being left in poverty, just to keep the number of "jailbroken" devices to a minimum.

In that context, ChevronWP7 is expected, and welcomed, just as long as not too many people start using it. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.