September 17, 2014

Google: We want Glass hacked

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In recent Glass news, infamous Apple exploiter Jay Freeman – aka Saurik – has claimed to have jailbroken Glass. Yes, you heard that right. He jailbroke… an Android device. It’s also being said that he rooted Glass, another point taken completely out of context. So, while the world was going only slightly nuts over this news and running with it, Google had something else to say. According to Dan Morrill:

This is not rooting. Nothing is rooted. There is no root here! This is ‘fastboot oem unlock’. It’s not rooting if they let you do it on purpose!

“Rooting” means the act of obtaining control of a process running with privileges of the root user. You root a device when you use a security exploit to take control of it; one of the things you can do with a rooted device is (in some cases) bootstrap to a different system image. So it’s only rooting if you do it in spite of them.

In other words, nothing has been rooted. Nothing has even technically been jailbroken. A simple fastboot unlock is what was accomplished here. Even Google employee Stephen Lau said:

Not to bring anybody down… but seriously… we intentionally left the device unlocked so you guys could hack it and do crazy fun sh*t with it.  I mean, FFS, you paid $1500 for it… go to town on it.  Show me something cool.

Now, leave it to Google to take matters even further. Not only do they want Glass hacked, they’re even going to be doing a dedicated session at Google I/O called “Voiding Your Warranty: Hacking Glass.

Google even fired back at a complaint from Saurik, who stated “OK, then how about you show me where I can find the Glass kernel code (complete with the config file, as required under GPL)?”. They then immediately gave him the link to the Glass source, found here.

To make a long, dramatic story short, a major access vulnerability was intentionally left open by Google, and exploited. Google has since let the world know, in no uncertain terms, that they did it on purpose. Looking ahead, Google will show you how to hack Glass.

Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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