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S60 Gets the Hacker Special; ROMpatcher Released

Some might say the fact that the S60 3rd Edition OS took so long to crack is an impressive feat in itself. At this point however, it doesn't matter. Fueled by the restrictions of Symbian Signed, last month S60 3rd got its first taste of hacker love as protected system files became accessible and the Symbian Signed certificate-checking process was circumvented. This was a huge deal to many of course, because it granted easier access to applications built by small developers who didn't want to pay to have their apps signed or wait through the long arduous freeware signing process. Until recently, Symbian Signed allowed just about anyone to obtain a personal certificate in order to make these “unsigned” applications installable on a personal handset. When Symbian Signed decided to limit personal certificates to developers only, hackers weren't having it. Fast forward to yesterday and it's pretty much game over for the time being. A Russian hacker named ZoRn has developed what he is calling ROMpatcher. In a nutshell, ROMpatcher does exactly what the name dictates; it allows you to quickly and relatively easily apply patches to the ROM on S60 devices. For the time being there are only a few patches available which essentially just a few tasks that already existed (access to protected directories, circumvent certificate check) but now that the flood gates are open, expect the water to start roaring soon enough. S60 handset owners, what do you think? Are you planning on taking advantage of ROMpatcher?


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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