Earlier this week news broke that it was possible to circumvent Windows RT's code integrity mechanism which effectively paved the way for a jailbreak of the system. When applied, it would remove the restriction to only execute Windows Store apps and the native programs the operating system shipped with. While that still did not mean that users were able to run x86 code on Windows RT machines, it meant that software compiled for ARM devices could be run on the system which opened up several possibilities including the forming of a homebrew scene and well, the execution of existing ARM software of course.
The main issue with the revelation was that the explanation was not really designed as a walkthrough on how to jailbreak the operating system. It is therefore likely that only a fraction of users who read the explanation tried to apply it on their systems. The method is also restricted to sessions as it can't be permanently altered on devices that have Secure Boot enabled.
An XDA user by the name of Netham45 has released an RT Jailbreak Tool yesterday which he describes as an all in one program to jailbreak Windows RT tablets using the method that the original researcher discovered earlier this weeek.
To use the program download and unpack it to a folder of your RT tablet. Execute the runExploit.bat file afterwards. First time you do that you will notice that Powershell is launched to install the ModernUI app and you need to follow the prompts that are displayed here to make sure everything is installed correctly.
To use the Jailbreak Tool restart your tablet and log in to the system. Wait for about a minute before you run the batch file again and read the instructions on the forum thread for detailed information about this.
Since it uses the same exploit, it too is limited to the active session. While that is certainly a limitation, it is likely something that the majority of RT users can live with considering that they open up their operating system for a world of new apps to use and run on it.
There is a thread on the same forum that lists some of the applications that have already been ported to Windows RT. This includes Putty, Notepad++, 7-zip and TightVNC. It is likely that more programs will follow in the near future. These are some high profile applications that should appeal to many users of the system as they extend Windows RT significantly.
The author notes that Microsoft can patch the exploit and it is not really clear if the company intends to do so or not. If that happens, it is possible to restore the system to an earlier state using the reset mechanism.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.