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Microsoft warns asks WP7 users to wait for the real thing

Hacked update disappears in flurry of threats

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Hacking the NoDo update onto your Windows Phone 7 handset could prevent you getting later updates, and even brick the handset, but that's OK, 'cos the files have vanished anyway.

On Monday, one of the hackers responsible for the Windows Phone 7 jailbreaking application, Chris Walsh, posted a hack allowing anyone to install the latest platform update to Windows Phone 7, ahead of Microsoft's rollout schedule. Now that hack has disappeared and Microsoft is warning impatient users that they'd be better off waiting for Redmond's official release.

The threats are of the usual kind: "You might not be getting the important device-specific software" says the Microsoft blog posting, which recommends that users hold back or run the risk that "your phone might get misconfigured and not receive future updates... It's even possible your phone might stop working properly."

Jailbreaking – unlocking handsets to allow the installation of unauthorised software – is explicitly legal in the US, though companies are at liberty to make it as technically difficult as they like. The Windows Phone 7 Jailbreak software was withdrawn by the developers after Microsoft offered to work them to create a legitimate route for homebrew coders.

That work has yet to yield fruit, but the relationship is obviously still strong, as Walsh has removed the updating hack from his own blog – though the files are now widely distributed around the internet and the instructions on how to use them remain in place.

Those following the instructions report mixed success, with some delighting in being able to copy and paste ahead of Microsoft's official approval, while others are hitting errors and having to spend considerable amounts of time rebuilding their handsets.

The official update is slowly rolling out to users, and Microsoft has set up a site where frustrated customers can see when they are scheduled to get the new functionality, but not fast enough for some who are still prepared to risk everything for the joy of moving text between applications. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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