Security Advisor

Hacker Jailbreaks Windows RT

Don't call it a security vulnerability.

The connotation of the term "jailbreak" always interests me. It's typically reserved for mobile platforms and, if performed on a typical desktop OS, it would be called a security exploit.
However jailbreaking, to me, has such a less malicious meaning to me. In my mind, it is reserved for tech-savvy hobbyists who want their device do operate as they see fit -- no matter if that invalidates the manufacturer warranty.

Microsoft apparently also holds a similar opinion, and in the case of its latest mobile platform, Windows RT, sent word of congratulations for what appears to be the first successful jailbreaking of the platform.

According to professional security expert/hacker "clrokr," it is possible to bypass security features in Windows RT to install custom apps or even full-blown desktop software that is not available in the Windows Store.

After looking into the claim, Microsoft acknowledged that it is, indeed possible to do such a thing using clrokr's methodology, and sent along a tip of its hat.

"We applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it. We'll not guarantee these approaches will be there in future releases," said Microsoft in a released statement.

Got any jailbreaking experiences with your gadgets? Do you see these attempts to customize devices as full-blown security exploits? Send your thoughts to me at cpaoli@1105media.com.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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