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Researcher Unlocks Galaxy S4 Bootloader For AT&T, Verizon Phones

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the achievement-unlocked dept.

Android 75

Trailrunner7 writes "Those of you who like to tinker and jailbreak Android phones should take notice of some new research conducted on Samsung Galaxy S4 Android devices shipped by AT&T and Verizon. Both devicemakers ship the Galaxy S4 smartphones with a locked-down bootloader that prevents users from uploading custom kernels or from making modifications to software on the phone. Azimuth Security researcher Dan Rosenberg has found a vulnerability in the manner in which the devices do cryptographic checks of boot image signatures and was able to exploit the flaw and upload his own unsigned kernel to the device."

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75 comments

Very surprised (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824527)

Not!

I found a boogor in your knose! (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43824559)

I am a nutty insane alien evil wizzord!!! BATTLE!

OHH EMM GEE! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824569)

so a new phone came out and someone unlocked it?

how is this new?
how is this news?
how is this even nerdy in today's times?

my little brothers retarded ditsy friend who happens to be a girl knows what phone unlocking is.

Re: OHH EMM GEE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824593)

Your comment makes no sense in relation to the article. The article is not about what unlocking is.

Re:OHH EMM GEE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43832875)

so a new phone came out and someone unlocked it?

No.
The phone is only locked if you bought it directly from AT&T or Verizon.

not a true unlock (5, Informative)

LiENUS (207736) | about a year ago | (#43824597)

Unfortunately this is not a bootloader unlock, it allows you to load unsigned kernels and recovery images but the bootloader must be exploited each time you install a new image. Further it's easily fixed and the next OTA from at&t/vzw is expected to patch it.

Re:not a true unlock (3, Insightful)

DemonicMember (1557097) | about a year ago | (#43824661)

A smart person who wants to "modify" their phone, turns off OTA updates.

Re:not a true unlock (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43826311)

A smart person doesn't buy a carrier locked phone in the first place.

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826783)

A smarter person knows the difference between carrier-locked and an unlocked bootloader.

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826831)

Unfortunately, they're not selling non-carrier locked phones for Verizon yet...

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43865177)

And they never will...

Re:not a true unlock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824669)

Sure. Whatever. And if a neighbor borrows my front door key, makes 1,000 copies of it with my address engraved on every one and leaves them in ashtrays around town at the bars, my house is still locked when I leave. But it's not secure anymore. However this is easily fixed by me installing a deadbolt, which people are expecting me to do.

Re:not a true unlock (1)

LiENUS (207736) | about a year ago | (#43824685)

It's morel like if you forgot to lock your back door so your neighbor slips in it once or twice, you notice lock the back door and its back to secure.

Re:not a true unlock (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43824879)

It's morel like if you forgot to lock your back door so your neighbor slips in it once or twice, you notice lock the back door and its back to secure.

Yeah, it's like that, but also: Then the neighbor slips in your window instead. So, you lock that. Then you notice them crawling in right through the damn wall?! Oh, that's right you live in a Swiss Cheese Shanty. Bah, but who cares, you'll be moving out soon -- You're building a whole new home, and it's going to be Sweet! Most Secure System Ever. No ones ever tried to tunnel their way into a Funnelcake Fortress before!

Meanwhile the list of your previous homes includes Calamari Castle, Macaroni Mansion, and a Doughnut Domicile, so it doesn't seem like the future bodes well for your boot-locking strategies.... Oh! What about a Footwear Flat? I know an old lady looking to part with one on the cheap, roof's a bit 'leaky' though...

Re:not a true unlock (5, Funny)

228e2 (934443) | about a year ago | (#43824927)

Well, I followed your analogy, but now im hungry . . . .

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43830557)

You eat old shoes?

Re:not a true unlock (1)

LiENUS (207736) | about a year ago | (#43825131)

We don't have the keys to the bootloader and samsung is likely to patch it on phones sold in the future. Further this unlock doesn't allow us to load the same recoveries/roms/kernels other galaxy s4 devices have, the kernels and recoveries have to be modified to exploit this attack.

Re:not a true unlock (2)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43826113)

You guys are missing the most important point. It's like you sell your house to your neighbor, but you only want him using the front door so you give him only the key to the front door.

The neighbor (now owner) thinks that's pretty stupid since it's his house now, and he wants to be able to use the other doors. He manages to pick the lock on the back door to open it, and gets the lock changed so he can use the back door. Next time you drop by to visit and fix some things which were broken when you sold him the house, you notice he's managed to use the back door of his house, so you change the back door lock to a better one to stop him from using it.

The neighbor/owner can't figure out how to pick it, so he picks the side door lock instead and replaces that so at least he can use the side door. Next time you drop by for another fixit visit, you change his side door lock so he can't use it again. And so on.

Re:not a true unlock (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825133)

It's more like if you forgot to lock your neighbors back door so your neighbor slips in it once or twice, you notice lock the back door and laugh at your idiot neighbor's misfortune in being unable to enter his own house that he paid for and rightfully owns. He even goes as far as to call the police but they just arrest him because he's irrationally demanding to enter his own house. Meanwhile you just kick back and feel slightly ashamed that you're not paying a billionaire for the entertainment you're getting.

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825017)

Having a custom recovery would prevent an OTA from working, though.

Re:not a true unlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825129)

That's crazy talk

Device Maker... (2, Informative)

shri (17709) | about a year ago | (#43824663)

It is the same device maker.

"Researchers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43827123)

Oh, My Fucking God!

Will you absolute morons stop calling these people "researchers"? You sound like Nancy Pelosi talking about "Revenue enhancements" instead of taxes or Obama talking "extremism" instead or terrorism.

We all know what you do and why you do it. And it's not for the benefit of mankind.

Re:"Researchers" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43865221)

But it IS for the benefit of mankind! We all deserve unlocked devices.

Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (5, Insightful)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#43824679)

The real news to me is that the Galaxy S4 is not already easily unlocked. I would have assumed that with the S3 being easily unlocked that the S4 would be similar.

I would think the best strategy for the phone companies and the handset makers would be to make it just difficult enough that most people wouldn't bother, but easy enough that people who really care wouldn't avoid the phones.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (4, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#43824735)

It should be made illegal to lock cell phones. As nice as the S4 is, pick up a Nexus 4 and have a phone you don't need to 'jailbreak'.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (3, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43825341)

You can get a stock Jelly Bean Galaxy S4 that isnt locked.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845727)

Not until June, and definitely not for N4 price.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43824805)

The real news to me is that the Galaxy S4 is not already easily unlocked. I would have assumed that with the S3 being easily unlocked that the S4 would be similar.

It will be.

But jailbreaking isn't the answer. The answer is breaking AT&T into little bitty pieces and making contracts like the one between AT&T and Samsung illegal.

If the anti-trust laws were enforced, S4's would cost about $150 and there would be no such thing as 2 year contracts for service. And there definitely wouldn't be the kind of collusion between hardware manufacturers, service providers and content providers that is destroying competition and making customers miserable and overcharged.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (5, Insightful)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#43824875)

Actually, it costs $237 to make one, so the price to consumers in a competitive market would probably be about $400 now while it's the latest and greatest thing, or $300 in six to twelve months. And of course, there should be a competitive market for financing for those who want to pay for it in installments.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826557)

Actually, it costs $237 to make one, so the price to consumers in a competitive market would probably be about $400 now while it's the latest and greatest thing, or $300 in six to twelve months. And of course, there should be a competitive market for financing for those who want to pay for it in installments.

Strangely, this is exactly how it works over here in Europe. However, the price of an unlocked S4 is $750 but I can finance it any way I want.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43828183)

Actually, it costs $237

Let me guess: these are Samsung's figures, yes?

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43829585)

You think Samsung are going to give out these figures? Most likely it is from iSuppli (or someone else making a semi-educated guess from the parts in the phone). But if you want to see what a $150 phone looks like, go check out what chinese crap you can buy for that price, I've got one and it is serviceable, I do consider mine to be good value for what I got, but its nowhere near top-end phones in quality. Samsung has a lot of R&D to recoup (and marketing too) which these companies making cheap smartphones don't do much of, so it would still cost substantially more that that $237 figure even with decent competition.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43829937)

My Nexus $200. An S4 does not have $400 worth of additional parts than the Nexus.

My point is the relationship between Samsung and AT&T distorts the entire cost chain to such an extent, and not to the benefit of the consumer.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43833847)

That point is debatable. Let's look at the UK prices on amazon.co.uk. The Iphone5 16GB is £507 and the Galaxy S4 16GB is £499.95 both sim-unlocked without contracts. Samsung is positioning the S4 as a premium phone to compete with an iPhone, therefore they need to price it similarly to the iPhone to avoid it being seen as a cheap alternative.

It is possible it would be cheaper without the ties between the networks and the manufacturers, but there isn't really any evidence to support that position. You could argue that contract tie-ins result in the consumer paying more for service, and that position is a bit more supportable, but it is a different argument to saying it leads to phones being priced higher than they otherwise would.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

crow (16139) | about a year ago | (#43831955)

I googled: galaxy s4 teardown
And I found this:
http://allthingsd.com/20130508/samsung-galaxy-s4-costs-237-to-build-teardown-analysis-shows/ [allthingsd.com]

Another example of why you should Google things before you post.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43832147)

I googled: galaxy s4 teardown

Do you realize that those teardowns show the cost of the components if you were to buy them individually?

Do you think they get a teeny discount for buying 500,000? Like maybe a 20:1 discount?

Even without this certain discount, which would bring the cost of building the S4 closer to $100, don't you think >300% profit is a tiny bit high?

How much profit you think there is in a $200 Nexus 7, which is similar tech? Is the cost of building the Nexus 7 really an order of magnitude less than building the S4?

Forget google, you should think about things before you post.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Pulzar (81031) | about a year ago | (#43824893)

If the anti-trust laws were enforced, S4's would cost about $150 and there would be no such thing as 2 year contracts for service.

No way on the $150 price. Just the parts that go into an S4 are more than $150. The S4 would still cost close to what it costs to buy it outright now, but the plans would end up being much more affordable, due to the competition and the lack of phone subsidy cost.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825195)

$600+?? Are you nuts?? Now way it costs only $150 but no way it should cost more than $400 either. Parts on those devices are typically low 200s.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (5, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43825243)

You are shitting me right? Talk about self indulgent pricks. If you want an unlocked S4, go buy it from Google's Play Store. Only $650 or so.

The reason cell companies have $200 S4 is because they're fronting the money for it, and they want to make it back up (plus a nice multiplier, obviously) over the next 2 years. That is why your data plans are also so expensive, because they know once they've locked you in, you can't move for 2 years.

And in 2 years, they front another $400 for you, so that you can get the S6 for $200. And they continue to milk you.

But make no mistake about it - the S4 does *NOT* cost $150, and only a fucking moron thinks it does.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (3, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about a year ago | (#43825677)

But make no mistake about it - the S4 does *NOT* cost $150, and only a fucking moron thinks it does.

Nope, it doesn't cost $150. It costs $244, including the manufacturing. [ihs.com]

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

iviv66 (1146639) | about a year ago | (#43826529)

So we should order all businesses to sell their products at cost? Nope, you can't make profit on that phone you're selling. Don't want to pay $650 for the unlocked phone? Don't want to sign yourself into a 2 year contract? Then wait a couple of years for the phone to fall in price and buy it then. A phone is a luxury product, like anything sold by apple. They can put whatever markup they want onto their products, and if its too high then it simply won't sell. It is the same with any game console, or pretty much anything else. Buy it when it comes out and you're going to pay through the nose.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43828201)

. It costs $244, including the manufacturing.

Notice that it's priced out as if they were making them individually, to order.

They give you the price of the processor if you bought only one and the price of the memory if you bought one module and the price of the screen if you bought only one screen.

I've got a feeling they get a little bit of a discount when they source the materials to make a few million of them.

It reminds me of how they used to publish what it would cost an individual to build a Corvette from parts and it turned out to be like $700,000.

Bogus.

Further, the whole supply chain is inflated because of the way the phones are paid for by AT&T. Everyone all along the way knows that the bottom line is exploded by the contracts and fees, so they all dip their beaks for a little taste.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43828559)

. It costs $244, including the manufacturing.

Notice that it's priced out as if they were making them individually, to order.

They give you the price of the processor if you bought only one and the price of the memory if you bought one module and the price of the screen if you bought only one screen.

I've got a feeling they get a little bit of a discount when they source the materials to make a few million of them.

It reminds me of how they used to publish what it would cost an individual to build a Corvette from parts and it turned out to be like $700,000.

Bogus.

Further, the whole supply chain is inflated because of the way the phones are paid for by AT&T. Everyone all along the way knows that the bottom line is exploded by the contracts and fees, so they all dip their beaks for a little taste.

Bullshit. These are realistic estimates for the actual cost.

Go back to Reddit with your stupid crap.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43850071)

You really need to learn to read and comprehend better. The break down prices are what it cost the manufacturers to buy them.

For some manufacturers that also make their own components, like Samsung, it may be cheaper, but that just means the component division made less money.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43825839)

That is why your data plans are also so expensive, because they know once they've locked you in, you can't move for 2 years.

What does this have to do with locking the bootloader? The rest of the world is in the same boat except without locked bootloaders. We are in the boat because of contractual agreements. So where is the incentive now? If I unlock my bootloader and go elsewhere I'm obliged to pay out the minimum contract cost which is quite expensive. If I upgrade then I still am required to pay the same contract cost.

I am on a contract. I pay $x per month over 2 years. I get my data allowance, sms, calls etc. My phone however is completely unlocked. I can put any SIM in it and take it anywhere. I can load (and did load) custom kernels without any issue. Yet I am still forced to pay the carrier.

How is unlocking the bootloader related to milking consumers again?

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43824809)

The real question is if this applies to S4s not sold by Verizon and AT&T.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43825849)

No. Verizon and AT&T are the only known carriers locking the Galaxy S4 bootloader.

Re:Real News: Galaxy S4 not easily unlocked yet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825019)

Durr Android is open!

AT&T and Verizon are not "devicemakers" (5, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | about a year ago | (#43824807)

Samsung is the device maker.

How hard is it? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824867)

When the phone powers up, there is usually a watchdog circuit that holds a pin low (ground) for a short time, usually 50-100ms, then it allows the pin to rise, and that pin then allows firmware to be loaded which starts the bootloader process (or is the bootloader process). Usually you can short that pin, and after the amount of time required to load the OS, the firmware can be updated (reflash the chip with new bootloader/os). I realise finding the pin and reflashing the chip can be a bit of a job, but its not impossible (I've used techniques like this to unbrick/reflash bootloaders in routers and other devices, and likewise upload new firmware).

Re:How hard is it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825025)

Are you trying to be obtuse or are you actually out of touch with reality? What kind of phone owner wants to short a pin to flash the firmware?

Re:How hard is it? (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43825413)

The kind that is comfortable doing live BIOS swaps. Some of us really hate having to dick around with software or drive-by solutions. Doing it 100% ourselves is the 'proper' way we do things.

AKA any half-competent computer repair tech.

Re:How hard is it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826771)

Except for the fact that "pin" is usually between two circuits on the same IC die contained in the same ceramic packaging.

Sure, you can grind off the ceramic coating, put the die under your microscope, find what trace performs the locking function, and either short it or replace the fuses that were blown to enable the lockout.

But after spending that much time and money on modifying what is essentially a phone someone else paid for and you are borrowing from them until it is paid off two years later, you could have just spent a fraction of that money and purchased your own phone of the exact same model and not have a locked bootloader in the first place.

Re:How hard is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43828483)

Devices with new-ish Qualcomm SoCs have emergency download mode via first bootloader living in a ROM, which is enabled when eMMC is wiped clean or a special pin is shorted. Depending on board layout, the pin may not be even usable.
There are qfuses which enable signature verification at level lower than aboot, or even disable JTAG functionality.
With secure boot qfuse blown you need: signed flash programmer binary (this is executed in RAM to allow writing to eMMC), a proprietary Qualcomm tool to use that programmer and communicate with emergency downloader, signed bootloaders for modem-side and application-side.
It's all heavily obfuscated all the way through and the flash programmer is built with the rest of bootloaders. Qualcomm's stuff uses its own set of keys and it's own secret signing process, separate from what's checked in aboot. I'd say it's extremely hard to do without insider access.
Similar process exists for Broadcom SoCs. Don't know about the rest.

Not a cryptography weakness (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#43824873)

The summary seems wrong, the researcher did not exploit a cryptography weakness. I understand he managed to have its custom kernel loaded at specific memory address, overwriting a bootloader function.

DMCA !! DMCA !! DMCA !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824891)

Let's all say, DMCA !!
Why don't we say, DMCA !!
And yes you are gay for saying, DMCA !!

China Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43824939)

My S4 clone may not be quite as fancy as a samsung, but it's damned close and its *mine* out of the box. No carrier lock, no bootloader lock.. Nothin. Oh and it was 1/3 the price.. ( not out of pocket for a subsidy extension, but actual cost of the phone )

Re:China Phone (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43826869)

My S4 clone may not be quite as fancy as a samsung, but it's damned close and its *mine* out of the box. No carrier lock, no bootloader lock.. Nothin. Oh and it was 1/3 the price.. ( not out of pocket for a subsidy extension, but actual cost of the phone )

you could just as well have bought a real s4 from samsung and have had the unlocked bootloader.. calling something that's more of a s2 clone a s4 clone is a bit stretchy..

I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#43825103)

Why would I buy a brain damaged piece of crap? Also I'm not likely to buy Samsung again due to their abandoning the Galaxy S which I'm still using.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43825139)

You're so edgy and cool aren't you?

God fucking forbid they should not "support" a 4 generation old phone. That's like expecting Apple to support an original iPhone. Show a phone maker who supports something that old or fuck off.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1, Interesting)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#43825321)

Tracfone prepaid

My tracfone is a 18 year old Motorola flip phone no net just phone and it still supported

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826029)

Your 18-year-old phone still gets updates? Oh, you meant it still gets service. Yeah, that's not really the same at all.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43826875)

Tracfone prepaid

My tracfone is a 18 year old Motorola flip phone no net just phone and it still supported

...supported in what way? galaxy s1 still works on modern networks. you can still get software for it from google play.

an 18 year old phone wouldn't work on most networks anymore..

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#43827697)

was replying to the one above

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (0, Troll)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43825421)

"Show a phone maker who supports something that old or fuck off."

Nokia Tracfone. In fact, mine is almost a decade old and still gets support.

Oh, and I can dial 911 and boot faster than any smartphone.

I also get about 10x the battery life.

You stupid fools and your 'smart' phones.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about a year ago | (#43825853)

I know you're trying to prove that the AC is a dickhead, but seriously, if you think that the answer to "Why is the computer in my pocket doing X or Y instead of Z" is "because you're a fool for having a computer in your pocket when clearly the only thing that really belongs there is a cordless phone from 1992," you're deluding yourself and insulting the audience of this website. The level of connectivity that a smartphone provides is only the very tip of the iceberg for what the future holds for the entire human race, and you're an even bigger idiot to deny that fact than is the person who buys a smartphone without ever downloading an app or visiting a website on it.

The problem here isn't a lack of due diligence on the part of the consumer; it's a lack of ethics on the part of the manufacturers and service providers, because though they know full well what their real place is in the OEM/ISV/ISP trifecta that makes up modern computing, the public at large hasn't quite yet figured out that extending this paradigm into the pocket isn't a privilege which one ought to pay through the nose to have. And as long as they can keep it that way, they're going to take the homefield advantage to the bank for as long as they can by forever-locking-down hardware before they sell it and charging you $10 for 3 minutes of full-speed bandwidth utilization.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | about a year ago | (#43836103)

You stupid fools and your 'smart' phones.

Hmmm, why would I have an internet-enabled and feature-rich computer that easily fits in my pocket, that can also make phone calls, when I could be dragging a laptop *and* a phone around? Nope, I'm drawing a blank. You got me there.

Re:I'm not paying $1000 for a damaged phone (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43825855)

So just pay $600 for an unlocked one like the rest of the non AT&T / Verizon world.

Some times I wonder..... (1)

gasher19 (2932551) | about a year ago | (#43826067)

Why do articles like this say attacker. I guess if i own a S4 i would be the "attacker". At no point in the article did I read that if I clicked on a link i would be attacked. I think people that use the word "attacker" should be beaten till there bloody. There is no "attacker" cause it would be me doing the work, yet current user agreements they have i guess i would be the "attacker"...? Last time I rooted my phone or change something I didn't 'ATTACK" my phone neither did any one else "attack" my phone. I think or I hope i did it my self.

Requires root access beforehand? (1)

rundgong (1575963) | about a year ago | (#43826071)

I find this sentence from the article interesting:
"I flash this image by leveraging root access in the Android operating system to write to the boot block device"

Isn't it usually rooting you want to achieve when you unlock the bootloader?
Or is there already a root exploit available, and this will allow you to not only root a stock image, but instead load custom images?

Re:Requires root access beforehand? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43826585)

I find this sentence from the article interesting:

"I flash this image by leveraging root access in the Android operating system to write to the boot block device"
Isn't it usually rooting you want to achieve when you unlock the bootloader?

Or is there already a root exploit available, and this will allow you to not only root a stock image, but instead load custom images?

You can have root on systems without exploits.. but having root doesn't mean that you can boot your own kernel.

Silly Americans and their telcos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43826129)

As a non-American, I find it quite fascinating that telcos in America can get away with 'exclusive' phones. Exclusive to AT&T! Exclusive to T Mobile! Exclusive to Verizon!

And within each cocoon of exclusivity, each telco adds unwanted stuff on top of the software to 'differentiate' themselves from their competing rivals.

Time for the American telco industry to grow up and the regulators to step in. If a phone launches in America, all the carriers get it. No exclusive bootloaders

Why did he have to reverse eng the sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43827093)

Shouldn't they have been published?

verizon chip (1)

Mr Jinx57 (2933393) | about a year ago | (#43831893)

So if I buy a brand new unlocked S4 from Amazon. Can I put my verizon sim in it and will it work the same as if I bought it from verizon but still be able to use it with metro pcs or t mobile simms?
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