Hacking of consumer electronics
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This article expands hacking from applying strictly to computers to consumer electronics in general. Hacking provides users with the ability to customize and modify their devices. Arguably this activity has a long history, dating from the days of early computer, programming and electronics hobbyists. The most notable case of the hacking of consumer electronics is the jailbreaking of Apple iOS devices or the rooting of Android phones, although many other electronics such as video game consoles are regularly hacked as well.
Smartphone operating systems
- Firefox OS
- Apple iOS (jailbreaking)
- Google Android (rooting)
- Palm webOS (dev mode)
- Symbian OS (executing unsigned code)
Multimedia devices and video game systems
- DVD player - to remove regional restrictions, user operation prohibition flag (fast forward disabled in advertising clip etc.) and Macrovision (video copy is flashing after copying to protect analog hole)
- Blu-ray players - to remove regional restrictions
- Any non-smart mobile phone. To remove operator lock or SIM lock restriction.
- Graphing calculators
- Video cards
- Thermographic cameras
- GPS devices
Devices allowing for hacking
Some devices—most commonly open source—are built for homebrew purposes, and encourage hacking as an integral part of their existence.
- Pandora (console)
- Nokia N900
- Android Dev Phone
- ZTE Open
iOS jailbreaking was often considered illegal in the United States until a recent ruling by the U.S. Copyright Office declaring that jailbreaking an iPhone or other mobile device would no longer violate copyright law. However, simultaneously, there is ongoing prosecution against hackers of videogame consoles under anti-circumvention violations of the DMCA. A main complication, in many cases, is the profiting from selling jailbroken or rooted equipment as a value-added service. At least some accused deny these charges and claim only to be making back-ups of legally purchased games.
Recently, the High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection encryption system, which encrypts data running between cable boxes, Blu-ray players, and other similar devices and displays was cracked, and a copy of the master key needed to decrypt HDCP protected streams was posted on the internet. Intel, which created and now licenses HDCP technology, has stated that HDCP protection is sufficient to keep most users from circumventing it, but indicated that it may threaten legal action against more determined users under the DMCA.
On the issue of the hacking of its new interactive game controller the Kinect, Microsoft initially condemned and threatened legal action against those who hacked it, but soon after it reversed this position and instead stated that it had intentionally left the device open, and would in fact not prosecute those who modified it.
- iOS jailbreaking
- Rooting (Android OS)
- Symbian OS#Bypassing platform security
- Xbox modchips
- List of open source hardware projects
- PlayStation Jailbreak
- Privilege escalation
- Unsigned code
- Kralevich, Nick (2010-12-20). "Android Developers Blog: It's not "rooting", it's openness". Android-developers.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- German, Kent. "On Call: Go ahead and jailbreak, it's legal now | Dialed In — CNET Blogs". Cnet.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- "Famed Xbox hacker wants to testify in Xbox 360 modder's DMCA trial – Video Games Reviews, Cheats". Geek.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- Previous post Next post (2009-08-04). "Student Arrested for Jailbreaking Game Consoles — Update | Threat Level". Wired.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- Bright, Peter (2010-09-17). "Intel confirms HDCP key is real, can now be broken at will". Arstechnica.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.
- Murphy, David (2010-11-20). "Microsoft: We Left Kinect's USB Port Unprotected on Purpose". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11.