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Asus asked to decrypt Eee tablet bootloader

Let us hack our firmware, petitioners demand

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Asus' decision to encrypt the bootloader built into its Eee Pad Transformer Prime has prompted prospective punters to petition for the practice to end.

Users recently discovered that the Hasbro hated Prime's bootloader is sealed from prying eyes with 128-bit AES encryption - a move that, intentionally or not, prevents owners from installing alternative versions of Android or even other operating systems on the tablet.

The petitioners hope to persuade Asus that this is a bad idea. The same tactic is believed to have made phone manufacturer HTC change its mind about locking down bootloaders.

"We consider that it is our right to customise our devices in any way we wish: once bought, the Prime is our property alone to modify if we choose," says the petition.

"The current inability of the Prime to accept custom firmware is already dissuading some from buying this tablet, and even causing others to consider returning devices that they have recently bought."

So far, Asus has yet to respond to grumbles on forums and its own US Facebook page about the lock, but early adopters and would-be Prime buyers hope it'll have a change of heart. ®

Thanks to Dan for the tip

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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