Don’t Even Think About Custom ROMs on Windows Phone 8


Last week we asked our readers if they thought Windows Phone 8 might bring a greater degree of custom ROM potential kind of like what Windows Mobile brought to the smartphone space around the turn of the century.  Unfortunately for hackers, but fortunately for businesses and users, Windows Phone 8 brings with it a very high level of platform security.  First of all  encryption is built into the entire device including the operating system  and applications.   As Mike Temporale of Mobile Jaw notes, “The encryption is backed by the TPM 2.0 standard, which requires unique keys to be burned into the chip during production.”   There are also a number of common security keys from Microsoft and the OEM burned onto the chip in a read-only manner.  The firmware has a secure UEFI environment that validates that the device has all of the keys on initial boot. The boot manager knows which applications are to be started on boot up and will only launch those that are signed and trusted.  Custom ROMs will not have the correct digital signatures and therefore will not be able to start.

The security model also extends to all applications.  Everything, including Microsoft’s own applications, OEM drivers, and OEM customizations, are required to run in their own sandbox.  That means you can forget about viruses or any kind of malware as well.

These new Windows Phone 8 security features also make it obvious as to why Windows Phone 8 will not run on current Windows Phone devices… they lack a chip that has been burned with security keys for the platform, OEM, and device.

Source: MobileJaw

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About The Author
Adam Z. Lein
Adam has had interests in combining technology with art since his first use of a Koala pad on an Apple computer. He currently has a day job as a graphic designer, photographer, systems administrator and web developer at a small design firm in Westchester, NY. His love of technology extends to software development companies who have often implemented his ideas for usability and feature enhancements. Mobile computing has become a necessity for Adam since his first Uniden UniPro PC100 in 1998. He has been reviewing and writing about smartphones for since they first appeared on the market in 2002. Read more about Adam Lein!