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RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook rooted

Hackers plan to unleash tool to penetrate tablet

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The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet has been rooted, just like the Amazon Kindle Fire and other fondleslabs before it, in a development that promises tech enthusiasts the ability to install apps of their choosing, rather than being stuck with those already pre-loaded onto the device.

Gadget enthusiasts have posted a video as evidence that the Research In Motion-manufactured device can be tinkered with in order to run unauthorised applications and control components that users do not normally have access to. Unlike earlier work on tablet-rooting by tech enthusiasts at the XDA Developers forum, the video fails to provide clear instructions on how to root the PlayBook.

The hacker in the video, who uses the nickname Neuralic, boasts that his team has broken RIM's security without explaining the underlying vulnerability he might have used to pull off the trick. However Neuralic says he and two his gadget-hacking colleagues plan to develop and release a tool that will allow consumers to root the device.

In a statement, RIM said it was in the process of investigating the jailbreak claim, Kaspersky Lab's Threatpost blog reports.

"Research In Motion is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to 'jailbreak' a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry smartphone users are not affected," the firm said.

"RIM is currently investigating this claim and has been in contact with one of the security researchers to discuss it. If it is determined that the claim is accurate, RIM will follow its standard response process to develop and release a software update that is designed to minimise adverse impact to our customers or carrier partners.

"RIM is aware that the security researchers have stated they intend to release a tool to jailbreak the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. If such a tool is released, RIM will investigate it," it added. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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