Windows RT is pretty darn similar to Windows 8, but Microsoft just couldn’t help itself from locking things down to make it that much less useful than a proper general-purpose computer. If you’ve been looking forward to the day when someone might get around to jailbreaking the platform, allowing the installation of unsigned, non-Windows-Store apps, we’ve got good news, upon one hacker discovering the key to opening up RT devices like Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

It all boils down to one byte in memory, which the platform refers to in order to judge what level of control it should enforce over permissible apps. Normally, Windows RT limits apps to those signed only by Microsoft. Changing that value unlocks the system and allows the use of any compatible app you choose.

Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, mostly because fiddling around with system memory isn’t too easy on an already-locked platform. The key to this exploit is connecting a Windows RT device to a remote debugger, and delivering a payload that changes that permission byte.

Unfortunately, the secure boot process means that the OS will be re-locked next time it starts up, but this is still a huge step forward for the RT development scene.

Source: Clrokr
Via: WMPoweruser

Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen’s first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he’s convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he’s not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits

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