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RIM issues official statement regarding DingleBerry PlayBook root

By Adam Zeis on 30 Nov 2011 01:28 pm EST
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RIM

RIM has issued an official statement regarding the rumors of the BlackBerry PlayBook being rooted (aka DingleBerry). They assure us that the PlayBook security is still as good as it gets and they have been in touch with security researchers to discuss it.

"Research In Motion (RIM) is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to "jailbreak" a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. The term "jailbreaking" is commonly used to describe altering the software on a smartphone or tablet in order to obtain access to systems or applications not officially authorized or distributed by the manufacturer. BlackBerry smartphone users are not affected. RIM is currently investigating this claim and has been in contact with one of the security researchers to discuss it.

RIM is currently not aware of a jailbreak being leveraged by anyone other than the researchers, who claim to have performed a jailbreak on their own BlackBerry PlayBook tablets only. If it is determined that the claim is accurate, RIM will follow its standard response process to develop and release a software update that is designed to minimize adverse impact to our customers or carrier partners. RIM is aware that the security researchers have stated they intend to release a tool to jailbreak the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. If such a tool is released, RIM will investigate it.

The security of mobile devices and major networked systems is tested by third-party security researchers every day. RIM also continually tests the security of its own products, and volunteers its products to recognized industry experts for security testing and certification to help identify possible issues. RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and to working with researchers to continue to protect our customers."

So it looks like RIM is fully aware of the attempts to root the PlayBook but is standing strong by stating it can't easily be done as the PlayBook is constantly tested for security. So while some may be disappointed that a root may not come anytime in the near future, others can feel safe knowing the tablet security is still a top priority. 

39 comments

_StephenBB81

Glad they jumped on this

It started hitting the news papers today

Bla1ze

And the confusion sets in. My Jailbroken iPhone is safer then the consumer sold one so to imply that security of the device has been compromised (even when denying it) seems rather foolish on RIM's part -- they'd have been better off not saying anything until they saw what, exactly the 'jailbreak' opens up.

Now they're going to have people assuming that is the case be it the reality or not..

Just a thought..

Jake Storm

But will a jailbroken BB be safer than a consumer sole one?
Apples and Oranges.

Bla1ze

Remains to be seen, but RIM just basically laid out the assumption in peoples heads that security has been breached enough for them to be concerned over the matter to, at minimum make a statement about it and defend the security currently implemented. Like I say, should have said nothing IMO.

In either case, it still remains to be seen what impact this will have on the majority user as well. Sure, we can flip on some LED lights and get Hulu working, install the Android Market but.. what else?

Dump databases? Remote access? Run unauthorized code? Magically reveal the hidden PIM services in the 2.0 beta? lol.

Time will tell I suppose. I just hope RIM doesn't squash it before it's actually made available. Personally, I've said for a while now RIM should just forget to close off some of those 'android holes' and increase the hackability factor on the PlayBook.

People underestimate the developer and 'hacker' community and pass them off as "not the majority" but its those same people that are out there buying products based on what they can make it do that it wasn't intended to do.

*shrugs*

iBuilder

Reminds me of the Kinect: when it first got hacked Microsoft put out a similar statement, then the reports of rather useful hacks and ports surfaced soon after. From technology to cars to even the home - improvements on the original design are good, and not always thought of by the originating company. IMO the statement by RIM is simply to cover their rears ahead of someone trying to hack or crack their purchase only to have negative results.

nofixedpath

Apples and Blackberries...:-)

I am glad they are addressing this issue. This a corporate/business device not a toy like an ipad and rim is acting accordingly. Good for them.

Wisdom Like Silence

mud314

Since when is a jailbroken iPhone more secure? It has always been known that jailbroken iDevices are nowhere near as secure as a factory set iDevice. BTW it's also "than" not then.

Bla1ze

Ya, sure. ASLR, root password, PDF exploit patches -- all things implemented on jail broken iPhones before consumer purchased ones..That's not saying every user makes use of them.. just saying the options are / were there for those who jailbroke their devices. Some don't have a clue what it means, yet do so.

But hey, I'm not on a BlackBerry website to debate about iPhones. We have an iOS site for that http://www.tipb.com. BTW, was reading this and thought of you. <3

 

Crackberrykills

I do not understand all of this jailbreak and root stuff. It is all very blah to me. Meh. I guess maybe one day it will come to me. Well, probably not.

Also, excellent usage of TheOatmeal.com, sir.

houshinto#IM

You may be quite right in your point but the "experts" will and write otherwise and to the "sheeple" it'll look like RIM is completely insecure.

Security is one thing RIM prides itself on and the media would love nothing better then to say "A-HA, Playbook can be jail-broken so everything RIM can be jail-broken thus RIM is nothing special."

Over-reacting? I think not. The media atm are shills, period.

thecsman

They're pretty much saying, 'we don't believe ya'. So they contacted them directly. Who knows, at the end these young fellas might end up working for RIM.

q649

Adam,

I'm not sure you and I are interpreting RIM's statement the same way. I do not see any indication that RIM is stating that the PlayBook cannot be rooted, and in fairness it would be quite foolish for any company to make any such claim about their product(s).

highos

I agree! Lots of people seem to be misinterpreting this statement. They didn't say it can't be done or hasn't been done. Just that they are in contact with those that supposedly found an breach in their software and to their knowledge-at the moment-such information is contained with those that found it and is not public knowledge and they acknowledge that they make every effort to test the security of their software and will update the PlayBook as soon as they are able to verify the exact method they are using.

That's it. Not denying or implying anything else.

q649

Spot on.

I'd love to hear the discussion between RIM and the "security researchers". IMHO, those words were carefully chosen as a show of respect to the "hackers". That show of respect, and very probably a nice fat cheque, likely mean that we will not see PlayBook jailbreak on Dec 1, 2011.

Instead, we'll see a small patch in a few weeks to close the security hole.

XPEH

Good response by RIM. Plain language and to the point.

guerllamo7

I have a question. Is this a problem for anyone? If these guys did break into their own Playbook does that mean they can break into any Playbook?

I don't think so. If they don't have our password. Naturally, if you don't have a password then you don't have that protection but if you do, it seems that there is no danger to current users. Further, since the bridge goes through BB secure servers there is no danger of information being transmitted from being compromised so I don't see the danger to say my own Playbook.

Anyone know the answer to this?

El Platanero

I can't say that I understand this stuff but this is part of the reason why I appreciate the bridge. Everything of importance is saved on my phone.

Bulldawg

I don't know about y'all, but that YouTube video of the rooted PlayBook looked pretty convincing. Seems to me that the root has been accomplished and now all RIM can do is try to patch the hole.

Draconianfire83

hehe... dingleberry... hehehe... okay seriously though.
RIM is stating that the "security" of the PlayBook is still intact... because even if these guys have truly rooted the device, RIM is on top of it and can/will issue a software patch quickly.

axllebeer

To RIM, security is king. So as a playbook user I can see that there are some cool things that can be done once it is rooted. However I have no doubt that RIM will release an update soon after to eliminate it. RIM has to show that all their devices are as secure as possible or they will loose that which makes them so appealing to companies and for gov use.

mud314

Personally I don't want my devices to be like Android devices. It really opens up a can of worms.

wbeckle

Only if you choose to use the tool.

ttop

I don't know how anyone can call it "Rooted" yet. They turned on the LED light. Whoop Dee Do. They said they can load android apps without re-packing, but until they show that they can actually do something worthwhile, it's just a more difficult way to play with the LED and load android apps IMO.

molson0

LOL.

The ONLY reason the phone isnt effected is because there is NO QNX phone yet.

But there will be.

HofstraJet

Please correct me if I am missing something, but rooting is only an issue if they can access data on a locked PB or if they can get info from a bridged locked BB. Otherwise, what info can they get that they cannot get from the unlocked device, whether it be a PB or BB? What is the security risk? No BB data is stored on the BB - it is all stored on the BB for precisely this reason. Or am I missing something?

Yamcha

I'm actually not against the rooting of Playbook, simply because it opens a lot of opportunities for us users.. Having an Android Market to me is awesome and if it can be done by the DingleBerry tool then I plan on using it.

As far as security goes, I think there are lot of talented people out there and theres always someone that seems to be able to by pass security, it happened with PSN.. So I don't think anyone can really stop this..

On another note, even If RIM finds a way to stop users from "Rooting" the Playbook, I don't think they can do anything about OS 1.08 & OS 2.0 Beta being able to run DingleBerry, obviously the updated security will take affect on updated OS release.. Just like iOS, Untethered Jailbreaks are easy with older firmware..

houshinto#IM

It would be interesting if an approach was taken whereas RIM develops 2 patches that users must download

if they wish to have full support and features of the Playbook they will download one that solves the root issue.

or

If they want to go with the rooted/open option then they are free to do so. But they will do so knowing that they will lose some functionality of their playbook to ensure the rest of the device/software eco-system does not get compromised. In other words your on your own.

People should be free to modify/hack if they want to, but they also should be accepting of the consequences.

lebob23

I want the playbook to be rooted successfully so that maybe someday we can have android on it. But from what I take from this its reassuring that they released a statement that they will continue to support the playbook.

123berryaddicted

So is there a possibility that someone will find a way to make the playbook 100% an android device running Android OS?

frankzaman

RIM should totally hire these guys!

juacas

The thing I like the most about this statement is: "RIM is committed to the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet..." That for me it's the most important thing here!

BigBuffBerry

I'll post it again. If these clowns cause OS 2 to be delayed because they have nothing better to do then i will be pissed.

br14

If they've rooted QNX it means they have complete control over the device and can install whatever software they like. Though since the NDK effectively gives you control anyway if that's what you want, it's hardly earth shattering.

BlackBerry Bridge has 256 bit encryption so I'd say it's unlikely they've hacked that yet - and that's the only thing that matters until the Playbook has phone access.

My guess is they've broken whatever protection RIM had around the Android "player" which means they can install Android apps without going through App World.

Either way it doesn't seem like much of a breakthrough. Except that you'll be able to download a load of apps that don't work (because Playbook doesn't support all the Android API's). It's so easy for people to hack Android apps into bar files it hardly seems worth the bother.

AndroidArmageddon

Not cool. We want QNX to be not jailbroken as this affects the security of future BBX devices as well not just PlayBook. I think I will stick to my traditional BB OS for my phones as they are built on the uncrackable (thus far) tested and true Java platform we all know and trust with our information.

buckwylder

dingleberry? ridiculous

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Crackberrykills

I was thinking the same thing. Dingleberry!? Really? But hey, whatever floats one's boat I guess. Not exactly a positive term to name something. Yet, I guess that shows what these specific hackers think of ol BB. Of course, I may be totally off here.