Windows RT Jailbroken, now it can run unsigned desktop applications (update)

Microsoft Windows RT Jailbroken. It happened. We all knew it was just a matter of time, now it looks like with a vulnerability in the Windows kernel ported into the RT platform allows unsigned desktop applications to run freely on the Windows 8 sibling, Windows RT.

The finding comes from a security researcher clrork at Surfsec, article that claims a method to enable a way to run ARM-based desktop applications in the (– now — not-so-limited) operating system, by exploiting a binary setting that restrict the environment only to Microsoft’s signed applications (Windows 8 apps and Office 2013 RT). Don’t get confuse here, only ARM compiled applications will work, not the traditional x86 (32-bit) desktop programs — This makes the jailbreak somewhat limited at this time –. Also if there was an easy set of instructions to do this, it will only last until the next reboot as the process can only be done in memory.

Windows RT is a clean port of Windows 8

According to Surfsec “Windows RT is a clean port of Windows 8” […] “The fact that this method works on Windows 8 as well shows how similar the systems are.”. And apparently there isn’t a technical limitation much as a marketing move from the company.

Another important thing to keep in mind, is that running ARM desktop apps will definitely impact the battery life of the device, which now is one of the strong points on getting one. In spite of that, the Pandora’s box is now open and expect ARM compiled applications (at least from freelancers) in the near future for Windows RT.

Interested on knowing how everything works? Head over the source webpage with the link below.

Update: In a new statement released to The Verge, Microsoft applauded the people involved jailbreaking Windows RT to run desktop apps. A spokesperson from the company said “applaud the ingenuity of the folks who worked this out and the hard work they did to document it”. Also the software giant admits that it is  “not something the average user could, or reasonably would, leverage as it requires local access to a system, local administration rights and a debugger in order to work.”. But for those people wondering the future of this vulnerability, Microsoft has plans to release an update to mitigate the exploit.

Source Surfsec via Neowin | Image header by comedy nose via flickr

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me.