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Blackberry Handhelds Hardware Hacking Security Build IT

RIM PlayBook Tablet Jailbroken 63

Posted by timothy
from the hardware-wants-to-be-free dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "A group of researchers is claiming that they've found a root exploit that enables them to jailbreak the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet made by Research In Motion. In a video demonstration of the jailbreak, one of the researchers shows off the ability to change the settings on a PlayBook and says that he also has the ability to install the Android Market app on the tablet."
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RIM PlayBook Tablet Jailbroken

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  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:39PM (#38232284) Homepage Journal

    ..with a converter?
    or is it just a wrapper? or just some totally unnecessary shit rim added to the hoopla loop to have master keys on which store you get your apps from?
    wtf?

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Yup. Color me confused but I didn't think the PlayBook was running Android. It could, with the use of a wrapper, run some Android apps, but that was about it.
    • Not running Android (Score:5, Informative)

      by mrops (927562) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:55PM (#38232464)

      playbook is NOT running android. Its running openjdk based JVM. The android apps have to be packaged with RIMs packaging tools so the JVM on playbook can fire the app. The jdk holds playbook's implementation of android classes. as an e.g. opengl calls on the playbook jvm translate to lower level graphics call that are relevant to playbook.

  • by neko the frog (94213) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @06:43PM (#38232320)

    Now the PlayBook will have a native email client :(

  • Almost worth it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rickb928 (945187)

    Best Buy is trying to dump these for $199.

    Only about $99 too high for me. Sorry, almost worth it, but I'm not springing $200 for what is a short-lived product. The hardware will not be supported much beyond warranty, I fear.

    Still, RIM is on track to convert to Android. So long as their mail client is better on Androidt than it is on iOS, they have a chance. Even Google is stumbling out of the iOS gate. There is still time for RIM to maintain some relevance.

    And privacy isn't much of a problem for RIM any

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well what isn't a short lived product?

      and they can maintain relevance.. by.. eh.. becoming eudora?

      they could maintain relevance if they had some solid hardware building knowhow in house, if they weren't just another batch of bozos who orders shit from odm's.

    • by Lucky75 (1265142) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:06PM (#38232552)
      Wtf, why is this modded insigntful? QNX is a far superior OS to Android or iOS.

      Still, RIM is on track to convert to Android.

      Source? Seriously, people that say this crap don't know what they're talking about.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Wtf, why is this modded insigntful? QNX is a far superior OS to Android or iOS.

        [Citation needed]

        • by Prune (557140)
          Citation not needed--QNX has been running high-reliability embedded systems from medical devices to military equipment for ages. Would you feel safe if your cancer-treating gamma knife was running Android? It also works well as a desktop operating system, and I've run it on my desktop a few years ago (with the most responsive graphical interface I've ever used). Smartphones and tablets fall somewhere between embedded systems and desktops, and given that QNX covers the full range well, there's every reason t
    • by taylortbb (759869) <{taylor.byrnes} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:28PM (#38232720) Homepage
      RIM has been quite clear they're not abandoning the PlayBook, and have stated so officially on multiple occasions. Already there are starting to be rumours about a PlayBook 2. The OS on the PlayBook will power their next generation of phones, so they've got strong incentive to keep software development going. Despite all the bad press RIM remains quite profitable, making many hundreds of millions per year and selling over 40 million devices per year. They're not going to go bankrupt any time soon, and short of their bankruptcy the PlayBook won't be abandoned.
    • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@g m a i l . c om> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:19PM (#38233108) Homepage Journal

      Best Buy is trying to dump these for $199.

      Only about $99 too high for me. Sorry, almost worth it, but I'm not springing $200 for what is a short-lived product. The hardware will not be supported much beyond warranty, I fear.

      Actually RIM announced in their earnings call this past September that they would be running these discounts in order to move inventory; and recently there has been talk from RIM about a next generation of PB tablets.

      Your statement (I can't call it reasoning, because there is no reasoning present) makes no sense considering that they're moving their entire future platform to "BBX" as they call it and have a major new platform release scheduled for February, specifically for the tablet.

      And privacy isn't much of a problem for RIM any more. They are no more or less secure than Facebook, and their corporate clients are losing any hope of being safe from the prying eyes of sovreign states. Welcome to the party, security is an illusion.

      You're referring to the fact that the enterprise BES data is encrpyted, and RIM literally can't give anyone access because RIM does not own the user's private keys?

      Still, RIM is on track to convert to Android. So long as their mail client is better on Androidt than it is on iOS, they have a chance. Even Google is stumbling out of the iOS gate. There is still time for RIM to maintain some relevance.

      [citation required] See above comment about missing reasoning - why would RIM convert to Android? Any new Android player is doomed to minimal market share at best, at this point -- there are already too many on the market, and they're sure to be whittled down in the coming years.

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        It seems that RIM has found the sweet spot in pricing. WIll they price the next PB there? If not, I would expect another sale.

        Of course, RIM gives up 'non-entierprise' data (so far as we know) when governments demand it [mobileburn.com]. BES is the target of many nations, and RIM may find itself forced to either give it up via some back door added in, or disclaim the data and let themselves be forced out of those nations - though I suspect a comprmise will be reached.

        On the Android front, RIM is apparently developing too

        • It seems that RIM has found the sweet spot in pricing. WIll they price the next PB there? If not, I would expect another sale.

          They did - if they'd priced it in the 200-300 range to start, it would have fared much better.

          Of course, RIM gives up 'non-entierprise' data (so far as we know) when governments demand it [mobileburn.com].

          Of course they do - as does every other carrier out there - a fact that nobody sees fit to mention when they point out how RIM shares non-enterprise data. It's the cost of doing business in a country.

          BES is the target of many nations, and RIM may find itself forced to either give it up via some back door added in, or disclaim the data and let themselves be forced out of those nations - though I suspect a comprmise will be reached.

          Speculation and more speculation. So far, they haven't been forced to do so - and governments have been trying for years. There's no evidence to suggest that this will be changing.

          On the Android front, RIM is apparently developing tools to manage other platforms. I expect BES services to be delivered on those platforms in time, sooner rather than later, and BBX (is that it?) may become a bit player. Even a small share of the phone market is good money, and RIM may yet compete.

          I agree. I do not expect to see RI

  • I can check my email without it connected to my blackberry?
    • by Lucky75 (1265142)
      Yeah, go to www.gmail.com on your playbook/torch browser. Difficult, I know.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You miss the point. It's not difficult.

        It's just ridiculously bozo-the-clown-shoes stupid

      • by Karlt1 (231423)

        Yeah, go to www.gmail.com on your playbook/torch browser. Difficult, I know.

        Yeah push email and automatic notifications are so overrated.

        I guess next you will suggest that I let all of my phone calls go to voicemail and call and check to see if I have any messages every so often,,,,,

        • by narcc (412956)

          Well, if you want *real* push email, you'll already have a Blackberry, so ... what exactly is your point again?

          • by Karlt1 (231423)

            How is push email any less real with ActiveSync running on a tablet?

  • Not 'rooted' (Score:5, Informative)

    by Linegod (9952) <pasnakNO@SPAMwarpedsystems.sk.ca> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:13PM (#38232594) Homepage Journal

    Remember this is QNX. This is a privilege escalation above the default 'devuser'. I still see nothing that indicates that the bootloader or anything of importance was 'rooted' in the same sense as an Android 'root' or and iPhone 'jailbreak'.

    • Every time "RIM" and "security" is in a news article, we get an overly pessimistic and misinformed sensationalist article about how their security is completely broken, when it's little more than a minor nuisance at best. Every time Apple boasts improved security, it gets praise despite being cracked like clockwork 18 hours after release.
      • by Prune (557140)
        And with recent articles we see Android security is even worse than iOS. QNX is definitely the way to go, but now it's up to RIM not to fuck it up and that, unfortunately, is not a given.
  • Ehm... not quite (Score:5, Informative)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@g m a i l . c om> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:17PM (#38232622) Homepage Journal

    IF you have the physical device, and IF you have developer access to it, and IF you explicitly sideload this... then some additional access has been obtained to the OS.

    Unlike the iPhone/Android "jailbreak" concept, this lets you muck about in the OS but doesn't give any way to overwrite the bootloader.

    It's an interesting proof of concept, and certainly something RIM should be looking into ... but it also isn't the fatal flaw in RIM security that much of the popular tech press is reporting.

    • by Tacvek (948259)

      That is not unlike a Rooted Motorola Droid 2, which gives you true root access, but the bootloader (and kernel) remain locked and unchangeable. The Andorid community stills considers that rooted, although it is limited compared to most other devices.

  • Isn't the market edge for RIM devices that they are ultra-secure and don't have issues like this? How is this going to effect the market share for security-conscious corporations?
    • by narcc (412956)

      See thePowerOfGrayskull's comment above:

      IF you have the physical device, and IF you have developer access to it, and IF you explicitly sideload this... then some additional access has been obtained to the OS.

      Unlike the iPhone/Android "jailbreak" concept, this lets you muck about in the OS but doesn't give any way to overwrite the bootloader.

      It's an interesting proof of concept, and certainly something RIM should be looking into ... but it also isn't the fatal flaw in RIM security that much of the popular tech press is reporting.

      It's not a major issue, and RIM will undoubtedly fix it (they usually catch this sort of thing and patch it long before it's discovered).

  • by mattie_p (2512046) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:20PM (#38233122)
    "The researcher, known as Neuralic" (from TFA). Where I come from, researchers are scientists, and have real names. Pretty confident that Neuralic is not on his birth certificate. Not that they may not deserve the name researcher, but c'mon. George Hotz calls himself a hacker, and he's a little more famous then Neuralic. And he uses his real name.
  • ...between a RIM playbook and the Amazon Kindle Fire?

    Everyone talked about similarities, but are they identical?

  • This would be like jailbreaking a 1979 calculator wristwatch so that it could do gradians. This company is sliding into the same hole as Novel, Nortel, and Sun.
    The only way I could see a jailbreak useful would be if they were able to wipe out all the BB crud and make the device useful. The only problem with that would be what is the command line that makes your screen physically bigger?

    RIM devices are in so many technical ways better than most other devices yet due to the company being way out of touch
  • Jailbreaking the Playbook may have just saved RIM from extinction.

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