Looks like we'll soon see a jailbreak for Windows RT. A Nicaraguan hacker has discovered a way to defeat the code signature test in RT that prevents desktop code from running. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is now coming under pressure to add an option to switch off the signing test.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get busy with their debuggers.
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Bogdan Popa adds this to our Monday stack:
...many have criticized [RT] for not supporting legacy Windows apps. ... [But now there's] a way to jailbreak the Windows RT operating system in order to run unsigned desktop applications.
Even though this sounds like very good news for Windows RT users, there are several shortcomings. ... First, running an unsigned desktop application...may take some time until you figure out the trick. [And] the jailbreak would only last until you restart the device. MORE
Michael H. adds app annoyances:
Windows RT is kind of an annoying platform...although it still has the classic desktop, you can't use any legacy apps. ...as with all locked-down platforms, devs are hard at work on a jailbreak, and they just got a lot closer.
What he found was that the only difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT is that minimum level security check. ...it's kind of unacceptable for Microsoft to impose an artificial lockdown on Windows RT. MORE
C.L. Rokr spills the beans from Nicaragua:
Ironically, a vulnerability in the Windows kernel that...got ported to ARM just like the rest of Windows made this possible. ...deep in the kernel, in a hashed and signed data section protected by UEFI’s Secure Boot, lies a byte that represents the minimum signing level. ... [But the] remote debugger, when run as Administrator, can...manipulate [it].
Windows RT is a clean port of Windows 8. They are the same thing and MSFT enforces Code Integrity to artificially separate [them]. ... The decision to ban traditional desktop applications was...a bad marketing decision. ... Microsoft, please consider making code signing optional...increasing the value of your Windows RT devices! MORE
And Netham confirms the exploit works:
I just tried a simple pure .net program (Form with a label on it) and the same .exe works on both my desktop and my tablet. I can't believe MS locked this out. MORE
Meanwhile, Ron Gorodetzky clarifies and classifies:
Now keep in mind that this is not a fill-fledged jailbreak but merely a demonstration. ... It wouldn't be surprising if a jailbreaking tool was released in the future...but for now this is the first step towards that direction. MORE