Earlier this week the T-Mobile G2 was rooted, but much to the surprise of many any modifications would only take hold until the handset was restarted. This created quite the stir in the root community, especially after recent releases from Motorola contained security features such as locked bootloaders to make the devices especially hard to crack. It left many wondering if perhaps it was simply an issue with the method of rooting, but many feared the reason was a bit more sinister. Turns out they were right. The T-Mobile G2 was designed to only allow temporary rooting. Read T-Mobile’s take:
“As pioneers in Android-powered mobile devices, T-Mobile and HTC strive to support innovation. The T-Mobile G2 is a powerful and highly customizable Android-powered smartphone, which customers can personalize and make their own, from the look of their home screen to adding their favorite applications and more.
The HTC software implementation on the G2 stores some components in read-only memory as a security measure to prevent key operating system software from becoming corrupted and rendering the device inoperable. There is a small subset of highly technical users who may want to modify and re-engineer their devices at the code level, known as “rooting,” but a side effect of HTC’s security measure is that these modifications are temporary and cannot be saved to permanent memory. As a result the original code is restored.”
Now I’m no expert on Android hacking, so I can’t say for sure whether or not a workaround will be found to deal with the security measure put in place by HTC. If previous work by members of the Android hacking community are any indication, I’m hopeful one will be found. If not, it looks like the days of truly open Android phones are numbered. Quite the shame.