A group of security researchers recently demonstrated on video that they have successfully gained root access to the QNX-based operating system found on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The PlayBook jailbreak and related “mack truck” security hole these hackers identified could have some serious implications for future BlackBerry devices, but RIM says users should not get ahead of themselves. “Research In Motion (RIM) is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to ‘jailbreak’ a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet,” RIM said in a statement, noting that no BlackBerry smartphone users are affected. RIM also said it will begin working on a patch for the claimed security hole if its investigation determines the hackers’ claims are genuine, and it will also investigate any PlayBook jailbreaking tool released to the public. RIM’s full statement follows below, along with a video demonstration of security researcher “neuralic” gaining root access to a BlackBerry PlayBook.
There has been word for the past few days that Research In Motion’s PlayBook has been jailbroken. What this means is that, for the first time ever in RIM’s history, root access has been gained into a BlackBerry operating system. Why is this a big deal? Well, of RIM’s few remaining strengths, one of them was security, both in terms of encrypting and securing the messages you send over the RIM network, and device security. It’s why BlackBerry products became so popular with enterprises and governments — security. That device is so secure, that even the President of the United States uses one. Read on for more. More →
Verizon Wireless is seemingly following AT&T’s lead and taking action against subscribers who make use of unauthorized tethering apps. ReadWriteWeb reports that one of its writers was using a “jailbroken tethered Verizon Motorola X” with an unauthorized third-party app, rather than paying for Verizon Wireless’ mobile hotspot solution as its contract terms require. According to the report, the writer was blocked from accessing webpages on devices tethered to her DROID X on Friday, and was instead redirected to a Verizon Wireless page outlining rates for authorized mobile hotspot usage. Last week, AT&T confirmed to BGR that it would soon begin to revoke unlimited smartphone data plans from users who used third-party apps to share their smartphone’s data connection with other devices. Verizon seems to have taken a slightly less abrasive approach, though the outcome is the same: carriers want customers to stop abusing their congested data networks, and AT&T and Verizon are apparently done asking politely. More →
AT&T confirmed to BGR that it will soon begin revoking unlimited data plans from jailbroken iPhone users and other smartphone users who utilize unauthorized tethering and mobile hotspot solutions. Following reports from earlier this year, AT&T on Thursday confirmed that it will remove grandfathered unlimited data plans from accounts belonging to users who tether or use unsanctioned mobile hotspot apps without a tethering plan, which is expressly prohibited by AT&T according to its terms and conditions. “Earlier this year, we began sending letters, emails, and text messages to a small number of smartphone customers who use their devices for tethering but aren’t on our required tethering plan. Our goal here is fairness for all of our customers,” an AT&T spokesperson told BGR via email. The letter outlines three choices for customers who had been making use of unauthorized tethering solutions, one of which is “Do nothing and we’ll go ahead and add the tethering plan on their behalf — after the dated noted in their customer notification.” According to earlier reports, offending users will automatically be bumped to AT&T’s more recent tiered data plan, which affords 2GB of smartphone data and 2GB of tethering data for $45 each month compared to AT&T’s old unlimited smartphone data plan, which costs $30 each month but does not include tethering. A new report from 9to5 Mac claims that users will begin losing unlimited plans as soon as August 11th, but AT&T stated that the policy enforcement date varies depending on when the offending subscriber was sent the notification letter. AT&T’s full statement follows below.
Apple released iOS 4.3.4 on Friday in an effort to fix a security vulnerability that was present on both the iPhone and the iPad. The fix was supposed to prevent hackers from using a PDF security hole to jailbreak both devices. That didn’t quite work. The next day iPhone Dev Team was able to route around the security fix and issued a jailbreak tool for iOS 4.3.4. iPhone Dev Team has released the latest redsn0w jailbreak tool, but unfortunately it forces iOS 4.3.4 users to keep their iPhone or iPad tethered to their computer during sync and reboot. In other words, if you haven’t already updated to iOS 4.3.4 and want your iPhone or iPad to remain jailbroken, you’re going to be best off sticking with iOS 4.3.3 until another workaround is found.
Apple has just released iOS 4.3.4 for its iOS devices including the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and third and fourth-generation iPod touch devices. Apple also released a comparable update for Verizon Wireless’ CDMA iPhone 4, iOS 4.2.9. The new build includes a security update that addresses a vulnerability with PDF files. It also patches the extremely popular jailbreak.me jailbreak solution, so it will no longer function on devices that update. IOS 4.3.4 is available immediately via iTunes.
Web-based jailbreak tool Jailbreakme.com is back, and jailbreaking your iPhone, iPad or iPad touch has never been easier. How easy is it, you ask? Simply navigate to jailbreakme.com in Safari on your iOS device and then follow the on-screen instructions. Within seconds, you’ll be on your way to sporting an open iDevice. What’s more, JailbreakMe 3.0 is the first widely available tool to feature support for the iPad 2 (running iOS 4.3.3), so tablet owners will undoubtedly be excited about that. The service also supports every other iOS device other than Apple TV: iPad (iOS 4.3+), iPhone 3GS (iOS 4.3+), GSM iPhone 4 (iOS 4.3+), CDMA iPhone 4 (iOS 4.2.6+) and third or fourth-gen iPod touch (iOS 4.3+). Developer betas of iOS 5 are not supported. Remember to back up with iTunes before jailbreaking and, of course, proceed at your own risk. More →
George Hotz, the hacker better known as “geohot” has joined the team at Facebook. Hotz made a name for himself in the enthusiast community as an iPhone and iPad jailbreaker with his blackra1n tool, and he’s was also sued for jailbreaking the Sony PlayStation 3. Reportedly, Hotz joined Facebook in May and recently wrote on Facebook that the social network is “really an amazing place to work.” Hit the read link for a video during which GeoHot mentions his recent move. More →
Everyone’s favorite muscle-bound nerd brought iOS fans great news on Tuesday: iOS 5 has already been jailbroken. The Dev Team’s “MuscleNerd” posted on Twitter that he has successfully jailbroken Apple’s iOS 5 software using Limera1n. Right now his jailbreak is tethered, meaning the device must be connected to a computer each time it is booted, but this version of the jailbreak will never reach consumers so it doesn’t really matter. MuscleNerd says the exploit used to jailbreak the iOS 5 beta will still work on the final release version, so iOS users can sit pretty knowing the latest version of the operating system will likely be jailbroken immediately following its release this fall. More →
During the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today, Google discussed the future of its “Chrome OS” platform, as well as some future products that will soon hit the market. Google has improved the performance of Adobe Flash playback within the browser, and the OS will now recognize I/O devices — such as cameras — when they’re plugged into the computer. Other new features include Google Music integration, a new photo manager that allows you to send directly to Picasa, and an option to upload files directly to Box.net. Google’s bread and butter, Gmail, Calendar, and Docs are all now accessible while offline. Hackers will also appreciate a new built-in jailbreaking feature. Samsung and Acer will both introduce “Chromebooks” on June 15th for $429 and $399, respectively. Samsung will also sell a 3G version of its Chromebook for $499. Those prices sound a bit high to us considering that you can get a full-fledged Windows 7 netbook for that price, but we’ll see if the market agrees.
The infamous Dev Team announced on Thursday evening that redsn0w has been updated to support Apple’s latest version of iOS, 4.3.3. For the third iOS update in a row, the Dev Team says it has been able to use the same exploit to jailbreak iOS. The Team wonders aloud why Apple hasn’t addressed this issue yet, and we’re hoping the answer is that the software team in Cupertino is currently focusing on more pressing matters. In the mean time, owners of Apple’s iPhone 4 (GSM), iPhone 3GS, iPad, third or fourth-generation iPod touch, and second-generation Apple TV can now feel free to update and jailbreak away. Unfortunately, the Dev Team’s iPad 2 jailbreak is still in development. More →
Jailbroken iOS users will soon have a new option for browsing and installing unsanctioned apps on their devices. A group of iPhone developers known as the Infini Dev Team is currently preparing to release a Web-based alternative to the popular Cydia app store, which will allow users to browse and install applications from within the Safari browser. Dubbed “lima,” the new app store will compete directly with Cydia — and with Apple’s App Store, of course — and it will provide both free and paid applications. It will also be repository-based, and will feature an integrated back up and restoring system to simplify the reinstallation process when users update their iOS software or switch phones. Hit the break for a video of lima in action. More →
Blogs were outraged Wednesday following the rediscovery that 3G-enabled iOS devices like the iPhone store a record of users’ GPS positions in a local file. Of course every person with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch agreed to let Apple store and use this information, but it’s much more fun to get outraged than it is to read terms and conditions. No matter — for those who don’t want their iPhones to remember that they were pillaging a Dunkin’ Donuts instead of working out at the gym, there is now a simple answer: untrackerd. Jailbroken iDevice owners can now install a simple utility that will stop their devices from storing this information. The app is free and is available in the BigBoss repository, but the app might just be a temporary solution — according to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the file that stores location history is actually a cache file that should be cleared out occasionally but isn’t due to a bug or an oversight. Gruber thinks the bug will be fixed in the next iOS update, though no timeline is available at the moment. More →