Windows RT Hacked
C. L. Rokr has demonstrated a way of jailbreaking the system to run desktop apps.
"Windows RT devices were released on Oct. 26 of last year, alongside Windows 8," writes InformationWeek's Paul McDougall. "The devices all run processors based on the ARM mobile reference design, which until now, rendered them incompatible with regular Windows applications."
"According to Rokr, all you have to do is fire up the Windows Debugger software with Administrator-level permissions, connect it to the tablet and manipulate the device's kernel memory," writes The Register's Gavin Clarke. "Specifically, one needs to inject a blob of ARM code into a safe spot of RAM and have the Windows RT kernel divert the processor momentarily to run these instructions. This code locates and alters a moderately hidden variable in the kernel to disable the executable signature check."
"Due to its complexity, the method described by clrokr for circumventing code signing does not represent a security risk in practice," The H Security reports. "The minimum signing level is also only reset until the machine in question is restarted and no Windows/ARM-compiled desktop applications which could be started using this technique exist at present. It thus remains to be seen whether and when Microsoft will feel bound to fix this vulnerability."
"The hacker decided to disclose the bypass method publicly because he feels that Microsoft's decision to artificially ban traditional desktop applications on the platform is a bad marketing move that decreases the value of Windows RT devices," writes Computerworld's Lucian Constantin. "'Windows RT needs the Win32 ecosystem to strengthen its position as a productivity tool,' he said. 'There are enough 'consumption' tablets already.'"