CyanogenMod Creator Tells Android Users to Rethink Rooting
July 29, 2013 11:22 AM
comment(s) - last by
Google's modifications make root less powerful in Android 4.3, and that's good says Steve Kondik
Power users have long rooted their smartphones to gain access to capabilities not available to locked devices. Apple, Inc. (
actively fights rooting
; Microsoft Corp. (
) allows it, but
only for developers
; and Google Inc. (
) and its OEM partners mostly
condone and support rooting
But the key issue with rooting is that it
opens the device up to new attacks
(one of the justifications Apple often gives for fighting rooting).
Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik -- a Washington-area Android developer whose CyanogenMod replacement firmware is currently used by
over 5 million Android users
-- points out that new APIs from Google make keeping root privileges active in aftermarket mods (like CyanogenMod) less essential. He
introduces some new and much needed security features which not only restrict setuid binaries on the system partition (su), but also limit the capabilities of processes. In the current architecture, even if you could get elevated privileges, you can't do anything out of the ordinary. Root in the shell via ADB is all I use, and it still works just fine.
Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik [Image Source: Google+]
In other words, Google is restricting root for security reasons. But Mr. Kondik
Android's open source make this a virtual non-issue:
This isn't a problem for me, since I use CM. When there is a situation that I'd need root, I just modify the system to accomodate what I'm trying to accomplish in a secure way.
A few good use cases for root are:
* Firewalls and network software, potentially requiring raw sockets.
* Managing the DNS resolver
* Tweaking various sysfs nodes to control the kernel
All of these can be done without exposing root, and they can be done in a very secure way.
CyanogenMod is aiming to provide alternatives to full blown root access.
In a follow-up post, he continues to push his philosophy that deep firmware fan mods (such as his own CyanogenMod framework) are a superior alternative to using a stock ROM and simply leaving exploit-granted root privileges open. He
Now you can write your app and a whole new class of applications that you couldn't do without using the root sledgehammer before. Yeah, it's harder, and you need to learn the system architecture a bit, but the result is much better and more importantly it's not a gaping security hole.
I might be exploiting this as an opportunity to sell the ideas behind CM, but I think it's a powerful concept. If your app needs to do something that normally can't be done, you can easily bend the system to your will and do it right.
Android 4.3 cracks down on root's capabilities.
For those users who want root he reassures that he will continue to support it, writing in
yet another follow-up
Just to be clear- I have no intention of removing root from CM. What I want to see is the common use cases supported by the platform so that we can write more powerful apps.
But it's clear that he feels that leaving root open is a dangerous proposition, even for your average power-user. He also feels that regimented privilege extension via new API frameworks are a superior alternative.
Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik 
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
What i like about android
7/30/2013 9:22:27 AM
1. google apps
2. cheap chinese tablet
3. free pirated apps
"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
Best Buy Steals Google's Thunder, Already Taking Pre-Orders for New $229 Nexus 7
July 24, 2013, 7:24 AM
Quick Note: CyanogenMod Hits 5 Million Users
May 16, 2013, 1:42 PM
Developer Finds Security Hole in Galaxy Note II, S2
December 17, 2012, 8:31 PM
Microsoft's Windows Phone Jailbreak Partner Considers Calling it Quits
January 2, 2012, 9:35 AM
HTC Begrudgingly Allows Bootloader Unlocking
December 30, 2011, 10:33 AM
Sony's Xperia Z3 Gets Detailed in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 2:30 PM
Heavy Users of Verizon’s “Unlimited” LTE Data Could Soon See Targeted Throttling
July 25, 2014, 1:52 PM
Motorola Moto X+1 Makes Appearance in Leaked Photos
July 25, 2014, 12:06 PM
Sony Finally Adds 3D Blu-ray Support to PS4
July 24, 2014, 3:44 PM
IDC: Although Apple Remains at Top of Tablet Market, Share Falls from 33% to 26.9%
July 24, 2014, 1:24 PM
Thanks in Part to Strong G3 Launch, LG Sells 14.5 Million Smartphones in Q2
July 24, 2014, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
Microsoft Kills Entertainment Unit, May Shelve Flagship Lumia "McLaren"
July 18, 2014, 7:40 PM
JJ Abrams Unveils X-Wing Starfighter for New "Star Wars" Movie
July 21, 2014, 12:24 PM
Ford Details ’15 F-150’s 325hp, 2.7L EcoBoost V6; Demonstrates 732-lb Weight Loss
July 22, 2014, 6:55 PM
Comcast Memo: Harassing Customers During Retention Calls Actually IS Our Policy
July 22, 2014, 5:19 PM
Motorola Moto G Successor Reportedly Uncovered, Moto X Discounted by up to $75
July 21, 2014, 1:11 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information