Hacker superstar George Hotz just released a simple root method for most Android devices running an unpatched version of the Linux kernel, including the previously unrooted Galaxy S5 on Verizon and AT&T, as well as the Galaxy Note 3 on the same carriers, Galaxy S4 Active, and more.
Hotz, known by his geohot handle, was responsible for the first iPhone jailbreaking method, as well as for the hacking of the PS3, an antic that got him in legal hot water with Sony.
Towelroot is using a vulnerability recently discovered by hacker Pinky Pie in the Linux kernel, dubbed Linux kernel CVE-2014-3153. Geohot tested Towelroot with the following devices so far:
- AT&T Galaxy S5
- Verizon Galaxy S5
- AT&T Galaxy S4 Active
- Google Nexus 5
- AT&T Galaxy Note 3
- Sprint Galaxy Note 3
However, Geohot claims that the root method should work with most devices out there that have an unpatched kernel, meaning kernel versions that are older than June 3, 2014. The exceptions are new Motorola and HTC devices, which have write protection on /system.
According to people commenting on various online forums, Towelroot works with many devices that were previously locked including devices from Asus, Oppo, Sony, and more.
Towelroot is a one-click rooting tool packaged as an APK. Download it from Towelroot.com (click on the lambda symbol), run the APK on your phone (Google will warn you that the app bypasses Android’s defenses – that’s normal), click “make it ra1n”, and away you go.