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Jan 9, 2013

Windows RT Jailbreak Should Be Made a Feature

A few days ago, a security researcher discovered a way to bypass Microsoft’s restrictions in order to run unsigned applications on the tablet-oriented operating system Windows RT.

Even though it involves quite a complex procedure, the hack is very likely to spawn easier to use applications that would allow all Windows RT users to jailbreak their devices with minimum effort. TechNewsWorld has talked to C.L. Roker, the security researcher who found the flaw and who said that this hack didn’t create any security risk for users’ systems. “It cannot at this point be exploited without the user actually wanting it, so it's not dangerous,” researcher C.L. Roker told TechNewsWorld. In addition, Roker notes that users are continuously looking into ways to run Win32 software on Windows RT, so this jailbreak should be made a feature of the tablet operating system. “Windows RT needs the Win32 ecosystem to strengthen its position as a productivity tool,” he said.

Microsoft has already confirmed the exploit, but it confirmed that it didn’t represent a security threat for Windows RT users. What’s more, the company applauded the security researchers behind the project, but hinted that a patch to block their exploit may be released in the future. “The scenario outlined is not a security vulnerability and does not pose a threat to Windows RT users. The mechanism described is not something the average user could, or reasonably would, leverage, as it requires local access to a system, local administration rights and a debugger in order to work,” a Microsoft spokesperson told us in a mailed statement.

“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.” Of course, the jailbreak community has already started work on several projects based on this exploit, so multiple applications have been ported to run on Windows RT.

The Surface RT is one of the devices running Windows RT
Image credits to Microsoft


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