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Rooted Motorola Droid Puts Hackers In Control

Hackers can now root Verizon's Motorola Droid phone after exploit code was published Wednesday afternoon linked to an Android forum.

An Android modder known as Cyanogen heralded the revelation with a tweet, and then linked to the Droid rooting exploit discovered and posted by hacker Zinx Verituse, Wired News' Gadget Lab reports.

Instructions were posted to an Android forum Tuesday along with links to the exploit file guiding users on how they could gain administrator access to the Droid smartphone.

In the exploit post, Verituse invited users to download the zip file, rename it to "update.zip" and copy to the sdcard. He then advised users to power the Droid off and on while holding the X key, and then press vol+ and camera when they view "!" symbol.

"Once installed, you will be able to run 'su' from your adb shell,'" he said in the post.

Rooting a Droid is similar to jailbreaking or unlocking a device in that it allows a user to completely change everything about the phone's look and function.

A rooted phone gives users' administrative access to their Droid, which enables complete control over features of their device, instead of working within specific control parameter determined by Motorola and Verizon. Users could then tweak the operating system to suit their tastes, download widgets and add features that might have been previously restricted, customize the operating system, dramatically change their phone's interface, and add multi-touch features.

It also comes with risks -- if rooting is done incorrectly, users could inadvertently render their Droid useless, known as bricking, or disabling features. Rooting also voids the device's manufacturer warranty and violates terms of agreement.

But maybe the emerging crop of Droid hackers will have so much fun recreating their device they won't even notice.

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