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HTC EVO 4G root available, but major security concerns raised with phone

June 3, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Hacks

evo4g

Though that Droid Incredible root story going around was a totally lame hoax, the HTC EVO 4G root is 100% real and confirmed. It also may be a dangerous game to play according to one person involved with discovering a competing root method.

A member of our favorite phone hacking forum, XDA, has posted instructions on how to root an HTC EVO 4G on the eve of the device’s release. Anyone interested in rooting their new EVO can press their luck right now.

However, the group behind the first-known EVO 4G root method have expressed grave concerns with the default software loaded on the EVO. According to Unrevoked member Matt Mastracci, the “Sprint customizations of Android are so bad that any random Android application (with permissions or not) can basically get access to all of your data with very little work.”

We already discovered that there were possible security holes in EVO software considering that ShootMe can take screenshots without needing root access – something typically unavailable in post-Cupcake versions of Android. Now comes word from Mastracci that there are several vulnerabilities in the custom version of HTC’s Sense Android used for the EVO.

The Unrevoked group plans to release it’s one-click root method tomorrow, though it will refrain from releasing full details for a week because of a “blatant and dangerous hole” to which users would be exposed. We’ll follow along with this story and update when more details emerge.

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Android newbies might ask, “What the heck is root and why should I care?” The answer is that rooted phones have more access to features not enabled by carriers and manufacturers. It also permits the installation of custom ROM’s (software builds/versions) built by clever modders at places like XDA and AllDroid. The downsides to rooting are that it can potentially damage your phone if directions are not followed properly, voids your warranty if discovered, and early ROM’s often lack standard functions. Get more information in our Rooted phone beginner’s guide. It’s only meant to be a starting point for information; direct all questions and actions to XDA before attempting anything.