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Droid X Gets Rooted 97

Posted by Soulskill
from the root-root-root-for-the-home-team dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Droid X forums have posted a procedure to root the new Motorola Droid X, putting to rest Andoid fans' fears that they would never gain access to the device's secrets due to a reported eFuse that would brick the phone if certain boot files were tampered with. Rooting the phone is the first step in gaining complete control over the device."
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Droid X Gets Rooted

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  • by tgpo (976851) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:04PM (#33007756)
    Did anyone actually believe the device would never be rooted? If it is released, it will be hacked. It may not be immediate, but if there is enough interest then in time the blocks will be circumvented.
    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:09PM (#33007808) Journal

      Yes but rooting the phone requires you to cut the yellow wire with the green stripes, not the green wire with the yellow stripes. If you get it wrong, you not only brick your phone, but every other droid x in a 3 block radius.

      So I can understand people's fear in doing so.

    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:14PM (#33007870)
      Rooting and replacing the bootloader/ROM are completely different though. I thinks most people who know about the situation expected it would be rooted. The huge barrier that Motorola put up with the eFuse is still there however. And it's still going to be nearly impossible to circumvent. Key word being nearly.

      As far as I can tell even now the Motorola Milestone (the european version of the original Droid) still hasn't gotten past the signed ROM requirement of it's boot loader even though it too has been rooted.

      See the engadget article [engadget.com] for details
      • by assantisz (881107) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:51PM (#33008324)
        That's exactly the problem. Getting root is simple. Getting custom "ROM"s and bootloaders on the DROID X and Milestone is an entirely different thing. The latter two are digitally signed. The Milestone has been out for quite a bit now, has been rooted, but so far custom OSs are still not running on that thing. The most promising approach at this moment is using kexec [and-developers.com]. Somebody will be able to get this all to work eventually but it is not very elegant.
    • Theoretically speaking you are right, BUT keep in mind, that it took 10 years to emulate CPS3 [wikipedia.org]. And for a while it seemed that DroidX would be similarly well protected.
    • by kaiser423 (828989) on Friday July 23, 2010 @06:21PM (#33008692)
      Everyone, literally everyone knew that the device was going to be rooted. That was the simple part.

      Not everyone is sure that the bootloader can be cracked. It's fully encrypted, Trusted Computing style. Some UK hackers have had a go on a similar phone and haven't made it happen. We're hoping that since the Droid X has a much broader base that the extra talent workign on it will finally break it.

      Basically, as usual, the summary was horribly wrong. Everyone thought Rooting would be simple and done within a week or two (and it was). Everyone was and still is worried about the bootloader, and how you might brick your phone or just not be able to find a weak spot. Messing with the bootloader is what could trigger the eFuse if it was enabled, but Motorola has specifically said that they have not turned it on. The only thing keeping everyone out of the bootloader is the encryption right now.
      • by jonwil (467024)

        Motorola have been using RSA protection on their firmware (preventing the loading of unsigned software) for years (long before Android existed) and people found ways around it before. I for one have a Motorola Z6 linux phone with a hacked bootloader to disable the RSA protection and a self-compiled kernel.

  • Drooooid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheMidnight (1055796)
    It was only a matter of time. Besides, isn't rooting the phone separate from the bootloader, which modifying triggers the eFuse?
  • Hah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:06PM (#33007768)

    "The Droid X forums have posted a procedure to root the new Motorola Droid X, putting to rest Andoid fans' fears that they would never gain access to the device's secrets due to a reported eFuse that would brick the phone if certain boot files were tampered with. Rooting the phone is the first step in gaining complete control over the device."

    Man.. if I had read that summary two years ago when Android was starting to take off my heart would have sank.

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      You mean you didn't realize that the carriers would force this one the phones regardless of who wrote the OS?

      Really? You didn't expect this? Cell phones have never been 'open', the fleeting few moments that you could get an android device that didn't have to be broken to modify the OS are few and drawing near a to a close.

      If you didn't expect this than you really do need to take your fanboy blinders off.

      • Re:Hah (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday July 23, 2010 @06:28PM (#33008794)

        You mean you didn't realize that the carriers would force this one the phones regardless of who wrote the OS?

        Knowing it'll happen doesn't erase disappointment with it.

        If you didn't expect this than you really do need to take your fanboy blinders off.

        Grow up.

  • Rooted, but.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:07PM (#33007780)

    They may have rooted the device, but due to the cryptographic signature on the bootloader, kernel, and eFuse watching the ROM, you won't be sticking Android 2.3/3.0 on your Droid X (or Milestone) until Motorola decides you worthy.

    If this lockdown was going to be fully hacked, it would have happened to the Milestone by now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blue Stone (582566)

      It seems that Motorola, like Apple before them, want to keep us all as digital serfs in their mobile fiefs (assuming you're foolish enough to buy one of their devices). That Apple want to control their system from hardware to OS is one thing; to see any mobile manufacturer, however, pissing all over the openness that Android supposedly grants is quite another.

      • by LBt1st (709520)
        That's reason enough for me to not buy Motorola. It's a shame too because I've always been a fan of their hardware. Oh well. They'll be replaced.
  • Maybe Motorola needs pointers on how to spread propaganda from Apple?
  • "the first step in gaining complete control over the device." The first step in gaining complete control over the device . . . (?!) Am I the only person who finds it strange that we don't have complete control over devices we purchase by default? I mean . . . I know, I know, and I know. But still--all of this back and forth effort just seems retarded. Surely there is a better way to do this.
  • by EjectButton (618561) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:30PM (#33008024)
    First of all there was never any sort of self-destruct device in the phone. The phone contains a bootloader that only loads signed roms which so far has prevented people from loading custom roms such as Cyanogen. The Motorola Milestone (european Droid) has the same issue, has been out for 8 months, and has yet to be cracked.

    It's funny that the summary for this article has the text "putting to rest Andoid fans' fears that they would never gain access to the device's secrets due to a reported eFuse that would brick the phone" and links to a Slashdot story titled "Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod". So Slashdot posts a story with a bogus headline, and then later has another story saying how fear was created when it was "reported" that the phones would be bricked. Never stopping for a second to reflect on the fact that Slashdot itself was the one doing the bad "reporting".

    While gaining root access is good news this particular exploit is one that has been around for a while and is ported from another version of Android on another phone. Not to dismiss the work that has been done here but the biggest problem for this device is and has always been the bootloader.
  • if something is rooted - it's either been broken or copulated with. Especially sheep.
    • by Lifyre (960576)

      Good thing no one goes to NZ for anything except for (apparently used) sheep then isn't it?

  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:35PM (#33008094)

    Root is available, but not new rom images. Root is just a small first step. It will not really help in getting around the signed bootloader.

  • Bad summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GweeDo (127172) on Friday July 23, 2010 @05:45PM (#33008228) Homepage
    "putting to rest Andoid fans' fears that they would never gain access to the device's secrets due to a reported eFuse that would brick the phone if certain boot files were tampered with"

    This in no way puts that to rest. Rooting your device doesn't touch the boot partition at all. What should put to rest the bricking issue is Motorola straight up saying it won't happen. (see here [engadget.com])
  • by andydread (758754) on Friday July 23, 2010 @06:26PM (#33008770)
    This is one of the reasons Linus kept the kernel GPL2 rather than moving to GPL3. He did not like the DRM clause and the Tivoisation clause. As far as Linus is concerned the manufacturers should be able to use DRM to block you from loading an OS they do not want you to load http://www.linux.com/archive/articles/51826 [linux.com]
  • by notknown86 (1190215) on Friday July 23, 2010 @08:27PM (#33009942)
    In relation to the Motorola Milestone, which shares the locked bootloader with the Droid X.

    Motorola are now "deciding" whether to push out Android 2.2 (with, you know, the Flash support *promised on the box*) to the device at all

    For me - I've "decided" that they aren't getting more of my business - as far as I am concerned, they can go f*** themselves.

    From James King, Motorola Marketing Director:

    Next European Milestone and 2.2 (Froyo). I have expressed over the last few days that the decision is pending. The team here has been collating key pieces of information and views from this community in the last month and providing input to relevant teams in Motorola so they are aware. I am pushing for that decision to be made as quickly as possible, and we can then all go from there. Some others ask why the decisions on upgrades take so long, and why does implementation then take much longer still. What I can say and have stated recently is that upgrades are not a walk in the park. Sure there are short cuts that people can take, but when you have to integrate software to a specific hardware, then test it and integrate with third party applications, let alone any innovation from ourselves, plus then get approvals to make this all official and safe its is a big undertaking that requires planning and resource and third party coordination to see this all through. As I say, once we have decision, we will inform. JK
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This is exactly why it's important to be able to load custom ROMs. Android 2.2 has been available on the Droid for at least a week now, in the form of CyanogenMod [cyanogenmod.com].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheSpoom (715771)

      This is all part of a plan to limit upgrades to existing phones, in order to push people into buying new ones. Simple.

      A shame you believed the packaging though. Caveat emptor.

      • by KlaymenDK (713149)

        This is all part of a plan to limit upgrades to existing phones, in order to push people into buying new ones.

        And it's working. I just bought a new phone, although my old phone is but a year old and cost a fortune.

        Only, after I got burned by their i7500 Galaxy, I'm not one to ever buy another Samsung product, so my new phone is an HTC Desire. It doesn't seem like notknown86 is going to opt for a different Motorola phone, either. So yes, it's working, but not like I think they think it would.

  • I think for the freedom of the software world, we need to solve the discrete logarithm problem. There will never be freedom as long as it is mathematically possible to make digital signatures.

    I said when the Xbox 1 came out that the way of the future was for all devices to have this digital signature-based boot loader stuff, now called Trusted Computing. I hate how I'm right so often.

  • I'm so happy to own a Droid X, so happy it's been rooted and I'm so happy to hear it from slashdot first!

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