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Windows Surface RT Jailbreak Tool Released

By - Source: The Next Web | B 17 comments

It was only a matter of time.

Recently, it was reported that Windows RT had been jailbroken, allowing unsigned desktop apps to be run on the device. After an investigation, Microsoft issued a statement that applauded the efforts of the jailbreaker clrokr after determining that the jailbreak "is not a security vulnerability and does not pose a threat to Windows RT users." However, Microsoft also stated that there were no guarantees that the company wouldn't patch the exploit sometime in the future.

From then on, it was only a matter of time before the exploit reached the hands of the general public. XDA Developers member netham45 made public a batch file that simplifies the process of the jailbreak. clrokr's exploit involved modifying a value to alter the minimum signing level of Windows RT, allowing unsigned apps to run. Unfortunately, this value must be adjusted in the memory as the OS is running, as the value in the kernel cannot be adjusted, therefore the exploit must be repeated with every reboot.

This exploit can stand so long as Microsoft doesn't release an update to patch the issue. From the statement that Microsoft's released, it doesn't seem like an urgent issue for the company. After all, the exploit is limited because it's impermanent, and, as netham45 points out, useless since RT users can roll back to a previous version using recovery partitions.

 

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Shin-san , January 11, 2013 9:05 PM
    I've been liking Microsoft's stance on jailbreaking. Also, Windows RT actually needed to be jailbroken. I would love the idea of an open tablet platform
  • 15 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 11, 2013 10:30 PM
    Glad to seem taking this position, though the simple fact that it is needed is a shame
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    Shin-san , January 11, 2013 9:05 PM
    I've been liking Microsoft's stance on jailbreaking. Also, Windows RT actually needed to be jailbroken. I would love the idea of an open tablet platform
  • 5 Hide
    fleeb , January 11, 2013 9:35 PM
    Good now we can get out of the chroot jail in this Windows device and escalate privileges. Good thing it is now easier to break out of the jail of these Unix-like OS devices.
  • 15 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 11, 2013 10:30 PM
    Glad to seem taking this position, though the simple fact that it is needed is a shame
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , January 11, 2013 10:41 PM
    I think that locking it down is a defensive strategy and allows them to not take heat from apps that are potentially malicious being installed. They can always say "Hey, we tried to protect you, so don't blame us for what happened."
  • 8 Hide
    house70 , January 11, 2013 10:55 PM
    Peter_VI think that locking it down is a defensive strategy and allows them to not take heat from apps that are potentially malicious being installed. They can always say "Hey, we tried to protect you, so don't blame us for what happened."

    That would be true, but look at Apple's App Store. One can find malicious apps even in that legitimate source, so that is NOT a guarantee.
    Bottom line is, let the consumer decide what they want to put on their device. If they want to take chances, up to them. If not, give them the information and let them take action (or not).
  • -3 Hide
    livebriand , January 12, 2013 12:10 AM
    Now if Microsoft would just let people run desktop apps in the first place, Windows RT would probably be doing a lot better. Who didn't see this coming, anyway?
  • -2 Hide
    thecolorblue , January 12, 2013 1:26 AM
    "From the statement that Microsoft's released, it doesn't seem like an urgent issue for the company."

    ...due to the lackluster interest in the devices and dismal sales
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , January 12, 2013 4:10 AM
    livebriandNow if Microsoft would just let people run desktop apps in the first place, Windows RT would probably be doing a lot better. Who didn't see this coming, anyway?


    That's like complaining about being unable to run Windows apps on iOS. They're very different operating systems and they're used on different CPU instruction set architectures that are not inter-compatible. Even if MS put the huge effort into making it possible, it'd work with a big performance hit on an already limited ARM SoC.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , January 12, 2013 4:13 AM
    Quote:
    That would be true, but look at Apple's App Store. One can find malicious apps even in that legitimate source, so that is NOT a guarantee.
    Bottom line is, let the consumer decide what they want to put on their device. If they want to take chances, up to them. If not, give them the information and let them take action (or not).


    Sure, it's not a guarantee, but it's pretty close. That has to count for something. If the consumer wants to put something not validated on their device, then they have that option through "jailbreaking".
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , January 12, 2013 9:34 AM
    Hah Microsoft never really cared about Windows being pirated, i don't think they'll ever seriously mind it being jailbroken either. They might have provided for it, like that GTA Hot Coffee mod.
  • 2 Hide
    Pinhedd , January 12, 2013 6:30 PM
    livebriandNow if Microsoft would just let people run desktop apps in the first place, Windows RT would probably be doing a lot better. Who didn't see this coming, anyway?


    There are no ARM desktop apps you twat. If you want to run x86 applications, get a Surface Pro in a few weeks
  • 1 Hide
    sna , January 12, 2013 9:29 PM
    we need some one to install android on the windows RT tablets and vice versa ... they got the same hardware ... the drivers are there and ready ...

    Id love to dual boot my Tablet. and I dont want to buy another SAME nvidia Tegra tablet just to get windows RT ...

    I wish MS releases windows RT :( 
  • -1 Hide
    eodeo , January 13, 2013 1:39 AM
    Why implement something that is DESIGNED to be jailbroken? Its like DRM- making life worse for the honest paying customers everywhere, while pirates use the better version for free.

    I dont blame the DRM developers for developing poor DRM, I blame whoever got the idea to implement it in their software.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , January 13, 2013 8:24 AM
    eodeoWhy implement something that is DESIGNED to be jailbroken?

    So that people won't complain about unsafe ecosystems while enthusiasts willing to jailbreak can do so?
  • 0 Hide
    eodeo , January 13, 2013 12:42 PM
    Quote:
    So that people won't complain about unsafe ecosystems while enthusiasts willing to jailbreak can do so?


    Possible. However, I don't recall anyone ever complaining about windows being too open and able to run more software than all the other platforms combined. Anyone willing to publish a windows thing, was able to and still can do so.

    I can see why would Apple impose such a ridiculous concept on its own users, but MS?
  • 0 Hide
    Pinhedd , January 13, 2013 11:55 PM
    snawe need some one to install android on the windows RT tablets and vice versa ... they got the same hardware ... the drivers are there and ready ...Id love to dual boot my Tablet. and I dont want to buy another SAME nvidia Tegra tablet just to get windows RT ...I wish MS releases windows RT


    One of the biggest advantages of the x86 architecture is that it has an extremely mature firmware standard (BIOS and EFI/UEFI) and bootstrap. ARM doesn't have a standard bootstrap so each vendor may do it a bit differently. This means that it won't be as easy to boot Windows RT on multiple ARM devices as it will be to boot Windows 8 on multiple x86 devices.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , January 15, 2013 8:50 PM
    eodeoPossible. However, I don't recall anyone ever complaining about windows being too open and able to run more software than all the other platforms combined. Anyone willing to publish a windows thing, was able to and still can do so.I can see why would Apple impose such a ridiculous concept on its own users, but MS?


    Apple didn't do anything like how MS is handling it. Apple tries to make jailbreaking illegal. I don't have any love for MS, but it's only fair to give them some credit. Anyone who cares about putting non-MS approved applications on their Windows tablets would be more than willing to spend a few seconds to do so and anyone who doesn't care about it would benefit from an extra layer of security. It seems like a win win situation to me.