Developing Community Comes Together to Break Motorola’s Locked Bootloaders

Developers on XDA are sick and tired of Motorola’s hold on their device’s bootloaders. A device’s bootloader is the part of the phone that loads the phone’s operating system into memory. In most devices this can be hacked to allow developers to flash different ROMs on to the phone to get more features, faster performance, custom user interface tweaks, etc. Motorola, however, decided with the launch of the Motorola Milestone a while back that they were going to lock down their bootloaders on all future phones in order to stop this from happening. Well, these developers have figured out a way to try and break that hold on the Motorola Milestone and hopefully on future phones.

Motorola uses a 1024 bit RSA key to lock down the Milestone bootloader. The developers think that using a service called BOINC they can figure out this code and set their bootloaders free. BOINC is a platform where users can donate their personal computers processing power for a designated amount of time towards the project’s goal, in this case hacking the RSA key. The more people that donate their computer’s power, the more powerful the system is and the faster it can hack the RSA key.

It’s amazing the length developers will go to get freedom for their device, and it is equally amazing to see the length Motorola has gone to lock down their bootloaders just to stop developers from tinkering with their own devices. Hopefully this system works and can be used for other Motorola devices in the future and maybe it’ll show Motorola the errors of their ways? Yeah, probably not, but one can dream, right?

If you want to help out with this project, feel free to head to the source link for more info.


4 thoughts on “Developing Community Comes Together to Break Motorola’s Locked Bootloaders”

  1. the keyspace is 1024 bits in length.

    Currently is estimating decades to complete a 72-bit keyspace.If this is the same kind of key that is working on (albeit a LOT larger) doesnt it seem like this is kind of a lost cause to attempt cracking a keyspace of that size with modern technology?

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