Yesterday, XDA Developers forum users “kinfaus” and “pokey9000” were discussing how the latest devices from Amazon (the second-generation 7″ Kindle Fire and the 7″ Kindle Fire HD) come with more sophisticated protection than their predecessors, including locked bootloaders and “high security” features offered by their OMAP processors. Today, the devices have been rooted.
This particular hack has been confirmed to work with the 7″ Kindle Fire HD, but it should work on all new Kindles that that are based on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). That’s because this tablet exploit is the same one that was found in the Asus Transformer Prime, which also had a locked bootloader. Credit thus goes to XDA Developers forum user sparkym3, who found the original bug in Ice Cream Sandwich, which we can thank Amazon for not patching.
Here’s all the video proof you need, courtesy of XDA Developers forum user reverendkjr:
In addition to the thread on XDA Developers, the full instructions are available on Android Police and RootzWiki. First, download this file, extract the contents, take SU from /system/bin/, take SuperUser.apk from /system/app/, and put them in the directory you’ll be working from. All you have to do after that is execute the following commands:
rm -r /data/local/tmp
ln -s /data/ /data/local/tmp
echo ‘ro.kernel.qemu=1’ > /data/local.prop
adb shell mount -o remount,rw /system
adb push su /system/xbin/su
chown 0.0 /system/xbin/su
chmod 06755 /system/xbin/su
adb install Superuser.apk
Amazon may of course patch this vulnerability with a future software update (the 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD may not even have this security hole when it ships in November). When that happens, the hunt will be on for the next one, and you can expect the vicious cycle to continue.
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