A group of researchers is claiming that they’ve found a root exploit that enables them to jailbreak the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet made by Research In Motion. In a video demonstration of the jailbreak, one of the researchers shows off the ability to change the settings on a PlayBook and says that he also has the ability to install the Android Market app on the tablet.
The demo does not explain exactly how the root exploit works or where the vulnerability in the device lies, but the video shows that the researcher, known as Neuralic, has the ability to make system-level changes on the PlayBook. He is able to turn on and off the tablet’s backlight, change the color of the LEDs on the display and other operations.
“We’ve done it, we’ve broken RIM’s fancy security,” he says in the video.
In the PlayBook jailbreak video, Neuralic says that the group of researchers plans to release a tool publicly that will enable other users to jailbreak their own devices. Neuralic also says in the video that he is hoping to get a full version of Android running on the PlayBook, but that it would take some doing and likely require some help from others.
Researchers have made a sport out of jailbreaking the new generation of mobile devices. The iPhone has been the most common target for jailbreaking, with a number of researchers finding and publishing various exploits in the last few years. But it’s also happened with other devices, including the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader and now, the PlayBook.
RIM officials said that they’re aware of the jailbreak claim, but haven’t yet determined whether the exploit actually works.
“Research In Motion is aware of a claim made on Twitter by security researchers working together that suggests the ability to ‘jailbreak’ a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry smartphone users are not affected,” the company said in a statement.
“RIM is currently investigating this claim and has been in contact with one of the security researchers to discuss it. 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.”