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Windows RT Jailbroken To Run Third-Party Desktop Apps 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the free-at-last dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We all knew it was just a matter of time, now it looks like Windows RT has been Jailbroken. From the article: 'The hack, performed by Clokr, exploits a vulnerability in the Windows kernel that has existed for a long time — since before Microsoft ported Windows from x86 to ARM, in fact. Basically, the Windows kernel on your computer is configured to only execute files that meet a certain level of authentication. There are four levels: Unsigned (0), Authenticode (4), Microsoft (8), and Windows (12). On your x86 Windows system, the default setting is Unsigned — you can run anything you like. With Windows RT, the default, hard-coded setting is Microsoft (8); i.e. only apps signed by Microsoft, or parts of Windows itself, can be executed.'"
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Windows RT Jailbroken To Run Third-Party Desktop Apps

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  • Not a Jailbreak (Score:4, Informative)

    by 0x15e (961860) on Monday January 07, 2013 @12:57PM (#42506261)

    This may border on being pedantic, but I'd call this a crack instead of a jailbreak. It sounds like they're just patching a kernel value ... not breaking out of a jailshell.

    I expect MS will probably just find a way to patch it up in the near future.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Monday January 07, 2013 @01:14PM (#42506499) Homepage

    The fine article has a big link in the first paragraph: "What is WIndows RT?"

    Oh, wait...

  • by Dudds (132159) on Monday January 07, 2013 @01:28PM (#42506659) Homepage

    Windows RT contains a complete Win32 API environment (all the standard DLLs are there: kernel32.dll, user32.dll, etc).

    Visual Studio 2012 comes with the ARM compiler, so building executables is fairly easy. The restriction, to not allow ARM Win32 applications, only came late in the development cycle, so it's really only hacked in. Visual Studio will even allow native development for ARM applications, going as far to remote debugging the application, by simply adding a "enabled" setting to the ARM manifest file.

    The Windows RT SDK for building executables is not required to link existing applications, only a library file is required and that is easily built (in the XDA thread, a tool was posted that builds library files from live DLLs).

  • Summary continuation (Score:5, Informative)

    by Translation Error (1176675) on Monday January 07, 2013 @01:41PM (#42506821)
    Since the summary ends before actually getting to the vulnerability it started to describe, here's the relevant text:

    Now, in theory, you could change this hard-coded setting--but all Windows RT devices use UEFI, and so Secure Boot detects the altered code and locks the system down. Secure Boot doesn't stop you from changing the setting in memory, however

  • Re:Non Sequitir (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday January 07, 2013 @02:26PM (#42507427) Journal

    If Microsoft gets rid of the "Win32 cruft dating back to the 80s and 90s", then there will be no reason for anyone to choose Windows over any other operating system. Legacy compatibility and a huge installed base of applications are Microsoft's primary competitive edge

    We are talking specifically about Windows RT running on ARM here. There's no legacy compatibility story to begin with, even if the restriction on MS-signed-only desktop binaries weren't there in the first place.

  • Re:Non Sequitir (Score:4, Informative)

    by cbhacking (979169) <been_out_cruising-slashdot&yahoo,com> on Monday January 07, 2013 @05:28PM (#42510291) Homepage Journal

    Visual Studio 2012 (including the free Express variants) can compile for ARM. In fact, they have to, otherwise you couldn't write native apps (games, usually) for Windows RT at all. .NET code and HTML5+JS apps will run natively on RT without recompiling, but C++ apps - which is how most games are written, and some other software - require a recompile. It's trivial to do this recompile in VS, though - there's a drop-down option to build for x86, x64, or ARM.

    Now, with that said, by default Visual Studio won't let you build an ARM *desktop* app, only a "Windows Store" (The Interface Formerly Known As Metro) app. This is very easy to work around, though - you either need to set one #define (or /D in the build command) or change the relevant header (the error tells you which one) and also change one XML build configuration (again, you'll get an error telling you which one). The instructions for doing so have been posted on XDA-Developers for months.

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