iPhone and PlayStation 3 owners who looked for ways to jailbreak either device in the past probably know who Geohot is, and should be happy to hear he is still hacking devices. Geohot on Sunday released his own root tool on xda-developers that works on many Android handsets, including the Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S5 versions, which were harder to crack, at least so far.
Called Towelroot, the tool works on plenty of other Android devices including the Galaxy S4 Active, the Nexus 5, the Galaxy Note 3, and every other device that has a kernel build date that’s older than June 3.
Geohot has apparently exploited a vulnerability in Linux kernel discovered by hacker Pinkie PIe, which is why the Towelroot root procedure is available on many Android devices, as long as they haven’t been recently updated.
Many Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S5 users were waiting for someone to root these handsets, with a root bounty having topped $18,000 in late May. Geohot’s Towelroot announcement generated a lot of interest on xda-developers, with the forum thread reaching over 135 pages since Sunday.