Falling in line behind HTC’s G2 and Thunderbolt 4G, it has been revealed that the Incredible S features a signed bootloader as well. The device joins a growing list of higher security devices designed to prevent hackers from deploying un-approved code.
HTC as well as nearly every other device manufacturer lock their device in some way to prevent deployment of un-approved software to their devices (custom ROMs, kernels, recovery, etc.) In the past, gaining root access to the device was enough to deploy these custom images. With it’s recent device releases, Motorola stepped up their security, creating a stiff challenge for loading custom firmware. HTC has apparently decided to follow suit, adding a signature check into their bootloader for the kernel and recovery images.
The HTC Incredible S joins the ranks of Motorola’s Droid, Droid X, Droid 2, Milestone, Atrix 4G, and HTC’s own G2 and Thunderbolt on the list of higher security devices. Protection on the G2 and Thunderbolt was cracked by “everything falling into just the right place”, according to hackers involved with unlocking it’s bootloader security. The bootloader’s write protection was first removed, then it was overwritten by a pre-release development unlocked version, enabling custom kernels and recovery. It is as yet unknown if the same methods can be used on the Incredible S.