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Hackers lay claim to RIM BlackBerry PlayBook jailbreak

01 Dec 2011

RIM's BlackBerry Playbook

It may not have the magnitude of an iPad jailbreak, but a group of researchers is garnering headlines following the demonstration of the first RIM PlayBook jailbreak.

The three hackers have posted a YouTube video demonstrating an unlocked PlayBook. The tablet is able to access services such as Hulu which are usually not available to PlayBook users. The group plans to make the tool available in the near future under the name DingleBerry.

Jailbreak procedures, which allow the bypassing of built-in protections on software installation for mobile devices, gained popularity with the first Apple iPhone models.

The method is a popular way to run software which would not otherwise be authorised to run on a tablet or smartphone.

However, jailbreaks are also notorious for causing conflicts with firmware updates. It is generally recommended that novice users or those who aren't prepared to fully restore their device should avoid using jailbreak tools.

The latest hack could also have unintended consequences for RIM. Unlike Apple, which is largely seen as a consumer device vendor, RIM likes to pride itself on offering a secure enterprise platform.

Despite its troubles in the larger market, BlackBerry remains extremely popular among groups seeking a tightly managed and secure environment.

With government and other high-security organisations running BlackBerry devices, RIM may have to take immediate action to plug the jailbreak vector and put additional protection in place to keep its mobile platforms secure.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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